- Artist: Salvador Dali
- Title: Persistence of Memory
- Media: Painting (Oil on Canvass)
- Dimensions: 9.5" X 13"
- Date: 1931
Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol (better known as Salvador Dalí) was a Spanish Catalan surrealist painter born in Figueres, Spain. He lived from May 11, 1904 till January 23, 1989, and is best remembered for being a highly imaginative painter who also enjoyed and indulged in unusual and highly grandiose behavior. Challenging those who held his work in high esteem, and irritating his critics, his behavior sometimes drew more attention that his artwork (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD).
Dalí had a fundamental appreciation for science and employed a great deal of symbolism in his work. This can be seen in the iconic image of the melting clock. The symbology of this reoccurring Dalí theme is the result of his challenge to himself to represent Einstein’s theory that time is relative and not fixed (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD). In this representation, Dalí challenges the world of hard scientific theory and fact with flowing lines that melt before the viewer’s eyes.
In creating this piece, Dalí is attempting to bridge the worlds of science and art in a way that conceptualizes scientific theory as a real, albeit abstract, thing (a melting clock). Dalí is said to developed this representation while watching a piece of soft Camembert cheese become runny on a hot August afternoon (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Dal%C3%AD).
Dalí’s art and ideas challenged traditional notions of form held at the time. He imagined a world in which everyday objects take on new and abstract forms, and become symbolic representations of much higher concepts. Without the works of Dalí, works by Giger and Grey may not exist.