Painting “Constancy of memory”, Salvador Dali, 1931
- Posted by Salvador Dali
- Museum: Museum of Modern Art (New York)
- Year: 1931
Overview of the painting :
The constancy of memory is Salvador Dali. 1931. Canvas, handmade tapestry. 24x33cm
All of Dali’s work is paradoxical and difficult to logical analyze. The whole direction of surrealism is a challenge to the logic and natural order of things.
This work has attracted close attention from criticism. No other picture survived so many attempts to explain the image and analyze the content.
The master himself claimed that the idea of working came to him at breakfast when he watched his wife spread melted cheese on a hot toast. But this statement cannot explain the whole complex symbolic language of the canvas.
“Current watch” – the main way of work can be explained by an attempt to convey in the picture the complex and nonlinear nature of time, the relativity and intricacy of the process. The author himself claimed that he painted a picture during a migraine attack. Hence the allegorical image of a sleeping head, like longing for a healthy sleep and a hint of complex images caused by suffering.
Symbols favorite for Dali: egg (life), sea (immortality), olive (wisdom), ants (shadedness, decomposition) – are collected here in a single composition. The clutter of the watch is opposed by a clear and rigid form of bases for details. In the picture, evening, the hot sun illuminates another cape crashing into the sea, but most of the area of work is already in the shade. The evening itself, as a symbol of sadness and melancholy, determines the general mood of work.
The brown gamut, which dominates the color of work, creates an atmosphere of moderate pessimism. Dali, as usual, is very accurate in the picture and numerous details. A strict series of individual subjects, which is the composition of the work, only at first glance happens. The harmony of work, its light nature and ease of perception ensures the abundance of the “empty” space of work. The miniature size of the picture is also the undoubted dignity of the work, convincingly testifying in favor of the personal nature of the work, revelation, and deeply personal experiences of the author.
Attention to the work is also due to the fact that the author himself made explanations regarding the content of his work. Usually a laconic and mean-minded artist, this time he was unusually talkative. Each word of the great mystifier was used by art historians to analyze all other surrealism works.
For many, it may seem strange that it was this miniature work of the artist that became his most famous picture. But the author himself treated this canvas with special warmth. She has always been a subject of his pride.