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  • Dali Prints
  • 1930 - 1960
  • 1961 - on
  • drawings
  • sculptures

Nobility of Time

96 Nobility of time

By Paul Chimera
Dali Historian
(Mr. Chimera worked directly with Dali Museum founder Reynolds Morse, as the publicity director of the original Dali Museum when it was located in Beachwood, Ohio.)

Salvador Dali was once referred to by one author as the “limp watchman of surrealism.” Clearly Dali will always and forever be most associated with his iconic melting or soft watches and clocks.

A sculpture such as “Nobility of Time,” then, becomes coveted by collectors and connoisseurs of Dali’s 3-D works, especially since it places the immortal Dalinian watch so prominently in the design. Like all of us, Dali saw time running out; from the moment of our birth, we’re dying. We’re here for a finite, limited time. And the anguish of time is ever-present, as the minutes, hours, days, months and years slip-side away (to borrow a phrase from singer Paul Simon).

In “Nobility of Time,” a crown tops the watch, elevating its regal, royal, imperial importance in our lives, while the tree trunk that supports it sprouts new life and its roots latch onto a rock. An angel appears, deep in thought, and a female nude is attractively draped in a long piece of garment that itself might suggest the floppy clocks that have defined the life and art of Dali...

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Dali: Saint George

Dali: Saint George

Date: Circa 1955
Medium: An Original Drawing by Salvador Dalí
Size: 8 X 10 cm
Robert Descharnes, Paris
Nicholas Descharnes, Paris
Frank Hunter - Director of The Salvador Dalí Archives
Peter Lucas - Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America

Provenance: Private Collection
Condition: Pristine

The lines of this original drawing by Salvador Dalí appear as though they were delicately woven together by a gust of surrealistic wind. The impression they make is that of one of Dali's favorite subjects, his hero St. George from the mythical tale St. George and The Dragon. The image is a wonderful display of Dali's always astonishing artistry.
This drawing is dedicated to Lucien Decaunes, the husband of Cecile Eluard, Gala's daughter with the Surrealists Poet Paul Eluard. Though it is widely known that Gala had a frivolous relationship with her daughter, Dalí had nothing but compassion for Cecile. He often sent her letters and drawings that she kept hung on the walls of her home. Cecile and her husband Lucien were great fans of Dali's work. It is not known how many drawings Dalí attributed to Cecile and Lucien Eluard, but only a handful can be found, this being one.
The drawing is particularly peculiar mainly because at first glance it appears incomplete. The main depiction has St. George raised on his horse with his arms angled and hands open. In between those hands should be a spear, a spear that appears in almost every single one of Dali's St. George illustrations. The spear should be thrusting into the side of slain dragon as a representation of the myth's pinnacle point. It also appears as though Dalí created another and smaller drawing of St. George in the bottom right hand corner. Both these images appear much too refined to be a study for a larger work. It seems as though Dalí intended to the piece to complete as it is now, which leaves the unanswered question of "why." The answer died with Dali.
Dalí had portrayed this scenario hundreds of times throughout his career. He was obsessed with the story and sought to perfect his depiction of it through endless incarnations of St. George. Dalí was drawn to the legend because of its heroic themes and because it had similarly inspired all of his favorite classical artists to produce a painting of it. St. George is now familiar to many Dalí enthusiasts as being an extension of Dali's personality. It has become a staple among other famous Dalínean icon like; melting clocks, standing crutches, giant butterflies, and crawling ants.
The fact that this drawing is dedicated to the husband of a woman Dalí whom considered his daughter brings with much personal sentiment. Since Dalí never had any children of his own, Cecile was the closest thing Dalí had to a child. He considered both Cecile and Lucien family, thus this drawing is a rare private insight into Dalí's family life.

Dali: The Rejuvenation of Time

Dali: The Rejuvenation of Time

Date: 1974

Medium: A work in four panels 52 ¾” x 56 ¼” (Together) 26 ¼” x 36 ½” (Left Panels) 26 ¼” x 19 ½” (Right Panels)

Dali: The Rejuvenation of Time

Created in four panels, as time is the fourth dimension, The Rejuvenation of Time was designed to be part of a dramatic stained-glass window display in the Teatro-Museo in the artist’s home town, Figueres, Spain.

The Rejuvenation of Time captures a crowned creature metamorphosing into the most famous surrealist image of all time the melting clock. This figure drinks from the "Fountain of Youth" and which elongates both his lifetime and his tail as he slowly rejuvenates into “Time”.

The melting clocks first appeared in The Persistence of Memory (1931) which today hangs in the Museum of Modern Art (New York). In 1974, the same year Dali created The Rejuvenation of Time, he reworked The Persistence of Memory and added a fourth melting clock, "The Clock of Immortality".

The figure’s head in The Rejuvenation of Time is unmistakably the same bizarre, embryonic body as seen in The Persistence of Memory. This oddly formed head with its eye closed and exaggerated lashes, is widely believed to be something of a self-portrait of Dali himself, it is Dali in his embryonic state. Dali claimed to have memories of his life in the womb. The shape of the head actually owes its inspiration to a well-known rock formation at Cape de Creus along the shoreline of the Bay of Port Lligat, where Dali and his wife Gala lived. The rock in fact appears as huge head balanced on its elongated nose. It belonged to part of the Catalan landscape which constantly inspired and influenced Dali and his works throughout the longevity of his life.

Perched on top of the figure’s head is a crown based upon Dali’s observance of scientific experiment. Dali once witnessed a drop of milk photographed stroboscopically at a highly intense speed. When played the footage reveals the milk drop as it “splashes” into the surface creating a “crown” from the liquid that projects upward from the impact. The award winning film Dali Dimension discusses in details Dali’s obsession with this phenomena and the sciences. The Rejuvenation of Time was unveiled with tremendous celebration in 1974. In fact, the works were signed in front of a crowd at the Figueras Town Hall, where Dali was born and laid to rest. In 1974, when Dali turned 70, he was acutely aware that he achieved his immortality. His prophecy to Mike Wallace of “Dali will never die” had come true and he expressed such in his creation of a magnificent work titled The Rejuvenation of Time.

For more information about The Rejuvenation of Time, contact us at 1-888-888-DALI or email

Dali: Macbeth (page 82 Act IV, Scene I)

Dali: Macbeth (page 82 Act IV, Scene I)

Date: 1946
Medium: Original drawing on paper, signed Gala Dali
Size: 20.5 x 14.7 cm on 24.8 x 24.2 cm.
Robert Descharnes, Paris
Nicholas Descharnes, Paris
Frank Hunter - Director of The Salvador Dalí Archives
Peter Lucas - Certified Member of the Appraisers Association of America

Provenance: Private American Collection
Condition: Pristine

Salvador Dali painted for nearly three-quarters of a century. His works are among the most memorable images of the 20th century, and his influence has informed virtually every component of modern society - not only what hangs in museums, but also in terms of popular culture, fashion, cinema, advertising, and book illustration, among many other areas.
His famous flaccid timepieces in his 1931 Persistence of Memory are elements in what is arguably the single most universally recognized painting not only of the surrealist movement, of which Dali was the kingpin, but of all art of the last 100 years.
Dali's creative genius led to a diverse catalog of paintings, lithographs, etchings, drawings, sculpture, watercolors, objects d' art, and commercial designs spanning lipstick to hosiery, ash trays to dinner plates, belt buckles to postage stamps.
He wrote two autobiographies, a novel, a book of poetry whose title and theme relate to his famous painting of the same name - Metamorphosis of Narcissus - and illustrated a spectacular spectrum of books, from the Jerusalem Bible to Alice in Wonderland; the Divine Comedy to Don Quixote; the surrealist tales of Maurice Sandoz to Shakespeare's As You Like It and Macbeth.
* * * *
As a general in Shakespeare's famous tale, Macbeth was dubiously known for the unusually vicious slayings of his enemies on the battlefield. Salvador Dali has captured that sense of violence in this extraordinary drawing, which is extraordinary because of its undeniably savage imagery as well as the absolute brilliance of its draftsmanship.
In painstaking detail, Dali doesn't merely show us contorted, dismembered, eviscerated figures - he practically makes us feel their pain and smell the fear and the anguish! Indeed, this recalls one laudable published critique of Dali's draftsmanship, in which he was being compared to Picasso. Picasso's horses are very well painted, the critic opined, but with Dali - with Dali's horses - you can practically smell the sweat!
It was a dramatic way of declaring that Dali's realism makes one weak in the knees, and here, in this spectacular and superb Macbeth drawing, Dali portrays a savagely convoluted scene with a sense of detail that has always enabled him to, in effect, make the unreal real.
Indeed, it's inarguable that the very success of Dali's surrealism hinged greatly on his technical skill, for such dreams - and nightmares - could never have been as convincing as they were had they been executed by a lesser talent. Such fantasy demands a Renaissance-like mastery of form and line, color and perspective, to make it translate convincingly from the mind's eye of the artist to that of the museum-going public.
The year he illustrated Macbeth (1946), Dali - living in the United States once WW II began, and remaining there until his return to Spain in 1949 - also illustrated The Autobiography of Bevenuto Cellini, among other volumes; painted several marvelous pictures to launch the perfume, Desert Flower; illustrated covers for Vogue magazine; and produced his famous canvas, The Temptation of St. Anthony.
Dali's interest in Shakespeare also carried over to a fine set of 15 original engravings, titled Much Ado about Shakespeare, and a set of 16 original etchings, Shakespeare II.
Macbeth, the drawing here, is really a museum piece, a connoisseur piece, wonderfully executed and exuding that soft, fluid, technically brilliant and imaginatively mind-bending quality that puts Salvador Dali in a category all his own.

Dali: Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy 4/6

Dali: Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy 4/6

Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 1965 An original bronze sculpture with green varnish and paper clips attached.

Approximately 16 inches.

One of only 6 known examples

Edition # 4/6

Price on Request call 1-888-888-DALI (3254) Outside US (310) 937-3999 Or email

Two iconic 20th century heroes share an unlikely nexus in this head-turning original sculpture: the decorated U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, and the Master of Surrealism, Salvador Dali.
Skillfully fashioned from Dali's own hands - not merely a three-dimensional object based on a drawn design by the artist - this intriguing bronze is covered with&.paper clips! How utterly Daliesque that he would choose to symbolize the bureaucracy in which world leaders are often mired, by the use of the most mundane trappings of the modern administrative office drawer!
Dali had a penchant for melding profound subject matter with common objects from everyday life, not unlike the peculiar juxtapositions that populate so much of our dream imagery. In his Bust of Dante, 1964, for example, silver spoons adorn the hair atop that bronze in green patina. His 1965 Chalice of Life, studded with gold, emeralds, sapphires, rubies and diamonds, also is engraved with dead leaves devoured by worms.
What the Bust of JFK, with its paper clip motif, reminds us is that Dali was driven, if not obsessed, by his need to be different. Take, for instance, his prints of L' Apocalypse; they were formed not merely by rendering an image on a matrix, but instead by exploding specially produced grenades filled with nails. Litho stones prepared for his Don Quixote suite were worked on, in part, by an actual octopus Dali dipped in ink, while other images in the same project were borne of the random scattering of ink pellets shot from a rifle.
Hats designed for Schiaparelli looked like shoes and ink wells; lobsters doubled as telephone receivers; dinner jackets sported shot glasses filled with crème de mint; a coat hanger became a perfectly logical resting place for a white glass paste melting clock!
* * *
John F. Kennedy was also the subject of an original etching by Dali, and both works in tribute to him were followed - in commemoration of the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 - with Dali's paintings and graphics that paid homage to Abraham Lincoln. Multi-colored cubes inspired by the then new science of computer optics in effect replaced the Kennedy paper clips. Now another president's image - Lincoln - is covered by multi-colored squares inspired by computer image pixilation.
Salvador Dali greatly admired John F. Kennedy, so it was no leap of faith for the artist to invest a strong sense of spirit and soul into this unconventionally head-turning bust of America's 35th president. Other statesmen and important figures from the annals of geopolitics occupied Dali's creative interests, too. Among them: Charles De Gaulle, Moshe Dayan, Francisco Franco, David Ben-Gurion, Bebe Rockefeller.
Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy is simply a supreme example of Pop Art as well as the special Surrealism of Dali. Of course, Dali's own thoughts on his creations add intrigue, insight, and - not uncharacteristically - confusion to the equation.
Of Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Dali commented: The American is a polyp. Take an American individually, and he is not able to do much of anything. Take them collectively, five or six at a time, and you will have some excellent results, thanks to the quantity. We arrive at wonders: quantity of money; quantity of organization; quantity of technology - what do you think of Kennedy? - in a country of polyps, do what is convenient for polyps. The individuals obey the master polyp through the intermediation of the polyps. There could never be in the United States a chief of state as original as De Gaulle, with such profound thought. What should never be discounted when considering so many objects d' art by Dali, however, was his undeniable sense of humor. Few would view Bust of John Fitzgerald Kennedy and not find the paper clip treatment amusing. Surely Salvador Dali intended such a reaction, and perhaps that was his ultimate aim: to make us smile in remembrance of, and respect for, a great American hero.

The Dali Dimentsion(DVD)

This documentary is a deeply intelligent dissection of the 20th century's most famous Surrealist artist Salvador Dali and the influence of his art by the realm of all sciences and ologies, which fascinated him. The scope of Dali's influences, as well as those who influenced, his contemporaries and predecessors are documented here. Add this amazing Video to your Dalí Collection.

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Dali Dimension DVD