Posted by: Joe
Enigma of the Rose
In 1976 Salvador Dali created a series of limited edition prints titled, “Surrealist Visions.” The most profound work in the series is “Enigma of the Rose.”
Dali has taken the face of the man from his famous painting, “Old Age, Adolescence, Infancy” from 1940. There are three images in the face of man, first the man himself, the face of the Old age, inside is a woman bowing, her head being the eye of the Old Man. It also represents a craggy cliff with trees growing over its edge. A classic Dalinian optical illusion.
Cypress trees are often seen in Dali works, being a common tree found in Spain. In this case the trees are symbols of death and borrowed from Arnold Boeklin’s “Isle of the Dead.” Dali was drawn to Boeklin’s haunting painting and here its influence in undeniable.
The Boeklin – Cyress tree cradles the old man. It is sliced at the stump and ascending, breaking the bonds of earth. The symbol of death in the form of reaper bows its head bidding him farewell.
In contrast to the death all around, the Rose is emerging form the ground, Dali’s symbol of beauty, vitality and his own mother is born. The future of the rose has no limitations, it can grow into anything it wishes to be, hence the title, “The Enigma of the Rose.” -Joe Nuzzolo