Nobility of Time

Salvador Dali

Technique: lost wax process
Material: bronze
Height: 60 cm
Patina: brown
Edition size: 350 + 35 EA
Inscribed: Dalí
Date: conceived in 1977
first cast in 1984
Foundry: Perseo, Mendrisio, Switzerland

The classic Dalinian symbol of time takes centre stage in this sculpture. Dalí’s soft watch is draped against a tree whose roots entwine a stone. The watch is stretched, its malleable form seems to take the shape of the tree. The trunk sprouts new roots and leaves grow from the branches, symbolizing new life.

In the sculpture, a crown adorns the watch. The terminology “crown of a watch” usually refers to the mechanical device which allows us to wind and set the hands of a clock. Without this important component, a watch won’t wind and cannot keep time.

Dalí plays with this notion, since time on a Dalinian watch is timeless, irrelevant and cannot be set. Dalí’s watches have no motion and lose all meaning, the essence of time is lost and melts away. The crown of the watch, in this case can be interpreted as a royal crown, symbolizing the “nobility” of time, indicating time’s mastery over human beings. Time reigns supreme over man, governing our existence in the real world, immutable and uncontrollable by man. By the side of time stand two recurring images: a meditative angel representative of the Spirit, and a female figure covering herself with a shawl.

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