Salvador Dali’s The Persistence of Memory Essay

Decent Essays

Way more than time just melting away
This paper will take a look at Salvador Dali’s painting, The Persistence of Memory, painted in 1931. As the viewer can tell, this is a story of time and life. The memories start in the background where all is well and things are straight and calm. Moving on to the cliff, the observer possibly sees a well-behaved teenager. There is nothing horrible here that leads the spectator to gasp, and the viewer knows this person made it through that time in their life. Then the picture moves on to the age of about twenty, the memories are fond but in the distant past. The memories are protected by a white blanket so that they do not just fall into the background. Then something happened where the person had some …show more content…

The next item that the eye is drawn to is the fly, resting on this clock. Although this clock seems to be melting like the others in the picture, the fly plays an important part in this painting. Being the painting is named, The Persistence of Memory, the fly leads the onlooker to think these memories might not be as old as the rest. Flies are drawn to items that are rotting but still have some nutritional value; this clock is fresh enough to have more value than the other clocks around it, giving the spectator the thought that maybe while the clock is a memory, it is not distant and is still brought to the frontal lobe now and then to be revisited. After looking beyond the focal point, to the left of that clock and even a little bit closer is a pocket watch. This watch is in a contrasting orange color. This is the only orange used in the painting. The placing of the pocket watch is strategic, as it too is on the shelf with the most recent memory, but the line and angle of the shelf automatically pulls your eye to it. The pocket watch is closed and highly decorated with black. Although, the viewer cannot make out what the clock is decorated in, it seems to convey that this clock is very important to the scene. The onlooker might even see this as a memory that has not been opened yet. Something grand will take place in this time line portrayed by this painting. Oddly as this is, the eye begins to then follow

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