Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory is by far his most recognizable piece of art. Salvador Dali was born on May 11th, 1904 in Catalonia, Spain (Dali). Persistence of Memory was done in 1931, while he was living in Paris, France (Dali). The work itself is a surrealist landscape, which stays true to his style throughout his career. Persistence of Memory is full of symbolism and has many elements of art within the piece. By dissecting the various parts of images used in Dali’s piece, we can begin to pick apart the different elements of art found and pull meanings out of them.
The first element which pops out of Persistence of Memory is Dali’s use of space. The element of Space in art is the distance around, between or within places (JMA). In the front of Persistence of Memory there are a series of melting clocks located on a rectangular block with a strange duck-like creature and tree branch. In the background of the image there is a large Cliffside with hued colored sky. In between these main images is a large dark brown expanse of nothingness. This sense of vastness in the image creates a sense of distance and space, which can be found in many landscapes.
The second prominent element found in Dali’s work is his use of shape. In Persistence of Memory there are many shapes which stay true to proper geometric rules in the “real world”, but there are also many images which are distorted versions of the true shapes. The clocks in the piece are a key example of this. Three out of four clocks in Persistence of Memory are distorted by making them looking droopy and distorted. The fourth is true to shape, but is discolored and covered with ants. The branch, rectangular block and distant Cliffside also follow the proper rules of perspective and shape. This clash between the real and the exaggerative creates a dreamlike setting.
The use of Color as an element of art in Persistence of Memory also helps to set the tone of the piece. The foreground...
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