The Persistence of Memory is one of Dali’s most famous paintings. Dali was not only an artist, but also a philosopher. With this information you can take in the fact that his philosophy and psychological views had a great influence in his artwork. His many paintings, such as this one, include dreams, birth, perception of reality, death, and sexual desire. Dali referred to many of his paintings as “hand painted dream photographs”, and this painting is just that. The drooping pocket watches are a symbol of distorted time. They resemble time’s irrelevance to the unconscious mind. The “fetus-like” head lying on the ground is often interpreted as many different things, such as a fish washed ashore, or the head of a goose. According to the Authentic Society, many of the landscapes in Dali’s paintings resemble his home town, Port Lligat. In the foreground there are ants attacking an orange clock which could quite possibly resemble Dali’s anxieties associated with time. Was he late for work? Or waiting on his long lost love? What do you think? Hurry time is ticking!
Often Dali would make up ridiculous meanings for his paintings when asked. In Dali’s book Diary of a Genius he claims that this painting is nothing more than an interpretation of melting cheese sitting out for a long period of time. However, after studying this piece of art and researching information about it I personally believe differently. Dali’s psychological background plays a big part in his deeper thoughts about this painting.