Spanish artist and Surrealist icon Salvador Dalí is perhaps best known for his painting of melting clocks, The Persistence of Memory. From an early age, Dalí was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí’s first Surrealist phase.
Some of his works are:
The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. The Persistence of Memory is by far Salvador Dali’s most recognizable painting, and there are many references to it in popular culture. Although it was conjectured that the soft melting watches were the result of Dali’s interpretation of the theory of relativity, Dali himself state that their inspiration was camembert cheese melting under the sun. The sequence of melting clocks in a disjointed landscape is the depiction of a dream that Dali had experienced, the figure in the middle of the painting being the face of the dreamer himself. The general interpretation is that the painting, which portrays many melting watches, is a rejection of time as a solid and deterministic influence.
Elephant is also a recurring image in Dali’s works. It first appeared in his 1944 work Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening. The elephants, inspired by Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s sculpture base in Rome of an elephant carrying an ancient obelisk, are portrayed ‘with long, multi-jointed, almost invisible legs of desire’ along with obelisks on their backs.