April 27, 2009

Salvador Dali's Persistence of Memory and a cartoon (one of thousands) based on the painting.

The original idea of this painting came to Dalí on a hot summer's day. He was at home with a headache while Gala was out shopping. After his meal he noticed some half eaten Camembert cheese and how runny it had become on account of the heat of the sunny day. That night, while he had been searching his soul for something to paint, he had a dream of clocks melting on a landscape. He went back to the unfinished painting he had been working on, which had a plain landscape with rocky cliffs in the background and a tree on a platform. Over two or three hours he added in the melting pocket watches which made this the iconic image it is today.

There is a broken sundial on a wall facing Dalí's house in Port Lligat. The gnomon, protruding from the wall, has long since broken off. It is less than fifty feet from the door of Dalí's house. It is pale blue in colour, and today, the paint is fading. The watches in The Persistence of Memory are also a pale blue. The numbers on the sundial are on the bottom of the square sundial, giving the appearance of the numbers having "melted" into place.

The painting was first exhibited in Paris at the Galerie Pierre Colle in 1931, where it was purchased by the New York gallerist Julien Levy for $250. In 1933 it was sold to Mrs. Stanley B. Resor, who donated the piece anonymously to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1934..

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