Metamorphosis Of Narcissus Analysis

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• The Metamorphosis of Narcissus is certainly one of Dali’s most celebrated pictures
• The painting was based of off Ovid’s Metamorphoses, and consists of a painting and a poem that was completed in 1937
• The painting is a critical paranoia which means the painting has the ability to create and see in one image, another hidden image
Painting portrays Greek god Narcissus’s metamorphosis in two different stages
• In the first stage he is depicted similarly too Caravaggio’s version of the theme but in the second stage his head takes the shape of an egg with a flower emerging
• One side has warm colors, fire and faeces while the other side has colder colors and cracked stone
• This paintings artistic language is both polymorphous and simultaneous
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• Looking at Dali’s work in literary-alchemical terms, his paintings consist of a flux of objects, forms, materials and textures in constant transformation
• Egg is the ultimate alchemist symbol because everything is contained in it; the beginning of the biological cycle
• Egg also symbolizes opposite qualities with its inside being warm and liquid while its outside is hard and cold
• Egg is perfect representation for Narcissus because the transmutational ability of egg captures metamorphosis of Narcissus perfectly
• In the painting, Narcissus is both the alchemist and the alchemist substance that has fallen from the Godley mountains to transform or melts away
• The flower emerging from the egg in the painting represents the artist’s wife, Gala, who he has always considered his own personal savior
• Gala replaces the traditional feminine figure of Echo and depicts Dali’s own life and how he fell from the mountain, transformed, and was saved
• Gala’s birth from the head in the form of a flower is a reference to Pallas-Athene’s birth from Zeus’s head after being swallowed by him
• Dali’s older brother died from meningitis at the age of seven and Dali see’s himself as having been born in the shadow of
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Alchemy I had never heard of before and still don’t fully understand it from a scientific point of view but love how its ideologies can be tied into the art world. Art is special because it can tap into so many forms of imagination in many different ways but the process of creating a photo that takes base elements and ideas and transforms then into one or two centralized ideas is great. Its like a story unfolding right in front of your eyes. As you gaze upon the painting you start noticing more and more references until finally you can compile those references into a theme or story. Dali was also able to do this so efficiently through his use of descriptive poetry that he added to the painting. The text acts as a cheat sheet that keeps the viewer on the right path to finish line. We’ve seen art tell a story before in class but nothing to this complexity

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