Paid particular attention to what Freud said about the distinctions and characteristics of the id, dfined as the primitive and instinctual portion of our identity that remains free of societal constraints, ad the ego, dfined as the conscious portion of our minds and source of more considered, rtional behavior. Freud considered “dreams, mths, od patterns of behavior, sips of the tongue, acidents and art” (Bardjeste, 2006) to be the avenues through which the desires of the id become known, tus explaining the importance of these elements to the expressions Surrealist art.
Dali employs nearly all of these elements in this painting into a fascinating composition that has inspired conscious consideration since its first presentation. The dream state is evident in the comparative placement of the various elements within the composition while the concept of myth is emphasized within the title of the piece. Although this art form is audibly silent, Feud’s slips of the tongue and coincidental-seeming accidents can be found in the doubled form of Narcissus as well as the duplicated head shape in the rock behind However, wen presented as intended by the artist, tis painting is not as silent as many as it is accompanied by a poem on the same subject.
“When this painting was first exhibited it was accompanied by a long poem by Dalí. Together, te words and image suggest a range of emotions triggered by the theme of metamorphosis, icluding anxiety, dsgust and desire” (Tate Museum, 2005). While the poem helps illustrate the artist’s concept, a analysis of the image itself elicits the same emotional response. Te initial impression upon up to this image, ten, eerges at once of representing a cyclic pattern of life and decay, hpe and depression, satic immobility and explosive growth, blance and imbalance, lght and dark.
As the title of the piece indicates, te subject of the painting is the Greek myth regarding Narcissus, abeautiful youth who caught his reflection in a still pool and fell instantly in love with it. Not able to consummate a relationship with this shadowy image, Nrcissus could do nothing other than to sit at the pool and pine sowly becoming a part of the scenery rather than a living, gowing, tinking being.
“The image of Narcissus mirrors man’s idle hopes and disappointments … [he] stands for mankind’s idle pursuit of the unreal” (Grant, 1995: 335). Dali represents this...
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