Dali – Playing Cards – The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory (1952-54)


A reproduction of Dali “beloved masterpiece The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory”, 1952-54, is featured on this deck of playing cards. Each card has a different unique painting image on the face, with the painting on each back. This custom product comes from The Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida www.thedali.org

The original painting is an oil on canvas re-creation of the artist’s famous 1931 work “The Persistence of Memory”. It features one of Dali “most popular images, the melting watch. In 1931, Dali painted his first melting watch. He said he was inspired one hot day while working in his studio when he noticed some runny Camembert cheese. To Dali, the oozing cheese resembled a melting watch, so immediately he painted three melting watches on his canvas, capturing the public “imagination for succeeding generations.

It is not clear why these melting watches are so startling and memorable, but they do suggest several powerful associations. They illustrate how time can be fluid, as in a dream. But a more essential and threatening association concerns our dependence upon clocks. The world runs by the clock – scheduling events is essential for life to function normally. If clocks melt, time becomes meaningless, and there is no way to control activities, leading to chaos.

Looking across the painting, what do you see? There are several images suggesting chaos, including the ocean fragmenting into atomic bits, its skin-like edge lifted to reveal a fish fluorescing. Yet there are other images that suggest continuity as well, particularly in the details of Dali “beloved Port Lligat landscape. Other questions arise – is the image disintegrating, or is it an expression of continuity? Is time interrupted, or is it fluid and elastic? Looking beneath the ocean “surface, do you discover disintegration or order? Dali leaves the answers to the viewer.

Salvador Dalà­ was known as a prominent Spanish Catalan surrealist painter. Dalà­ “painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His artistic talents included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media. As he developed his own style throughout his early life, Dalà­ made a number of works heavily influenced by Picasso and Miró.

Dali Sign