Salvador Dalí (Spanish, 1904-1989)
"Winter and Summer", (Patient Lovers: Apparition of a Stereoscopic Face in the Ampurdan Landscape),
Etching and lithograph with embossing on Arches, edition # 109 / 300
Pencil signed lower right; edition; signed in New York, New York; plates defaced
Image: 22"h x 29.5"w, sheet: 25"h x 35.5"w
This unique image is open to historic interpretation by many Dalí scholars. The surrealist and desolate Ampurdan landscape depicts an extensive barren land littered with fruits, bones, a hooded figure in red, along with collaged and cut out magazine images. A pair of arches accentuate the mountainous backdrop like rendered entryways into the vast unknown. The foreground elements are aligned very strategically, creating two mix-matched faces generated by the pareidolia, or optical illusion that the artist capitalizes on; forcing the audience to decode his surrealist image.
However, many scholars disagree on the identities of those depicted in Winter Summer. We know Dali painted some portraits where he included both Gala Dalí, his wife, and himself. Some see this image containing neither, but two unidentified muses that personify the seasons, Winter and Summer. Here, Dalí's use of perspective and pictorial techniques further his exploration of visual perception and the ways that optical illusion affects our sense of reality.
The title, Winter Summer also references the two seasons, and Dalí’s ongoing relationship with time: the cycles of life – fertility, birth, and death. He alludes to inevitable changes. Elongated shadows mimic the passing of time that references destination through one-point perspective lines that guide us through the composition.
Guardians of the portals we glimpse a world beyond reach, one of bleak existence, or one of serine solitude. Only Dalí knows.
Published: The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dalí, by Albert Field, authorize by Dalí; Illustrated page 90; Image # 73-14; Winter and Summer; Lithograph + original etching with embossing (Bellini)
The original painting, currently held in a private collection, is a watercolor, ink, and collage, dated 1970.