The Rejuvenation of Time

by Salvador Dali
1974
an authentic lithograph
in four panels
with an original signature
by the hand of Salvador Dali

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)

In 1959 Dali told Mike Wallace that he would “never die.” (see “Wallace” clip below)

Created in four panels, as time is the fourth dimension, The Rejuvenation of Time was done to be part of a dramatic stained-glass window display at the Teatro-Museo Dali (the Dali theatre-museum) in Figueres, Spain. This is where artist was born in 1904.
The crowned creature in The Rejuvenation of Time morphs into a long, limp watch – not only the most famous surrealist image of all time, but the most recognizable art icon of the 20th century. The figure drinks from the "Fountain of Youth" and extends his time with the growth of the clock on his back. As he drinks the clock grows and his time becomes extended until it melts to the ground.

The Invisible Harp
The Persistence of Memory (1974)

The melting clocks first appeared in The Persistence of Memory (1931) that today hangs in the Museum of Modern Art. 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 head of the figure in The Rejuvenation of Time is unmistakably that same bizarre, embryonic figure as seen in The Persistence of Memory. That oddly formed head, its eye closed and revealing exaggerated lashes, is widely held 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 Invisible Harp
Rock formation at Cape de Creus

The shape of the head actually owes its genesis 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 virtually all their lives. The rock in fact looks like a huge head, sort of balanced on its elongated nose. It is, moreover, commonly understood that the unique, craggy terrain of the Catalan landscape was one of the most powerful influences on Dali’s art.

The figure in The Rejuvenation of Time is wearing a crown, a crown whose birth came from Dali’s observance of scientific experiment. This was created as a result of Dali’s long-standing fascination with a photographic experiment in which a drop of milk was stroboscopically shot at intensely high speed, capturing and freezing the physics of the moment and revealing what looked in fact like a king’s crown (see “crown” clip below). The award winning film, Dali Dimension, discusses in detail Dali’s obsession with science.

Wallace clip Crown clip

The Rejuvenation of Time was released with great celebration in 1974. In fact the works were signed front of a crowd at the Figueras Town Hall, the birth place of Dali and the home of the his famous museum. It is also the place where Dali is laid to rest, completing the cycle of his life on earth, a life that now belongs to annals art history. In 1974 Dali, 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.”

The Invisible Harp

Joseph Nuzzolo,
President of The Salvador Dali Society ⓡ
with his Rejuvenation of Time

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