The Persistence of Memory, Melting Clocks or La persistencia de la memoria, the most famous painting of the famous painter Salvador Dali. Why is this painting so famous? What’s it about?
The Persistence of Memory or Melting Clock painting is the best known work of Salvador Dalí. It was painted in 1931 and exhibited in 1932.
One of the most well known examples of surrealism, it describes the slow melting of pocket watches. Also known as “soft watches” in English. It measures 24×33 cm.
Dalí started this work by depicting the coast of Catalonia called Cape Creus. After a feast with the camembert cheese he added the melting clock image, so the clocks were carrying the imagination of melting soft cheese. ( keep reading 😛 )
There are 3 melting clocks in the painting, a fly is placed on one, 4. clock is carried by ants. It is said that in the comments made to this work, Dali wants to explain “Time is more resilient than people think.” and some argue the ants and flies on the left symbolize exhaustion over time, and the drying tree symbolizes death.
In the middle of the painting, under one of the clocks, a profile of an amorphic human face is found, and the same face appears in The Great Masturbator. Some argue that this describes Dali himself; but an object can have more than one meaning, a typical feature in the Dali’s paintings.
The reality of the cliffs in the back and the melting hours in front of the sea are probably emphasizing that time is a fairly abstract and relative concept. (bergsonian approach)
In my opinion, this painting shows the time period in which the seemingly consistent opinions about rationality become meaningless, unique.