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Salvador Dali The Metamorphosis of Narcissus, c.1937




Flower breaking out of an egg on top of boulder fingers

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"The Metamorphosis of Narcissus" (1937) is an oil on canvas painting, and is from Dalí's Paranoiac-critical period. According to Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. Unable to embrace the watery image, he pined away, and the gods immortalized him as a flower. Dali completed this painting in 1937 on his long awaited return to Paris after having had great success in the United States. The painting shows Narcissus sitting in a pool, gazing down. Not far away there is a decaying stone figure which corresponds closely to him, but is perceived quite differently as a hand holding up a bulb or egg from which a narcissus is growing. In the background, a group of naked figures can be seen, while a third narcissus like figure appears on the horizon. Sigmund Freud once commented of it: “I’ve never seen such a perfect example of Spanish man before, what a fanatic!” A long poem was written by Dalí to accompany the painting. "The Metamorphosis of Narcissus" is currently on display at Tate Modern in London.

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