Paris: Editions Surréalistes, 1937.
Signed and dated by the artist ‘Salvador Dali 1958’.
Dali completed his now famous oil painting 'The Metamorphosis of Narcissus' in 1937 after a long period working and touring in the United States. This is the poem that Dali composed while working on this iconic image, here published in a limited edition of 550 copies. The paper wrappers feature a photographic portrait by Cecil Beaton that further plays upon the theme self-reflection.
The classical myth of Narcissus, wherein a thespian youth is unable to escape the beauty of his own reflection, held enduring appeal for Dali. For the surrealists, the myth was not merely a cautionary tale of vanity run riot but expressed a deeper metaphysical conundrum concerning the core of human consciousness. The paradox of the myth is that Narcissus was an innocent, unaware that he was staring at his own reflection. As a trope for consciousness creating itself from itself, the myth became a source of endless fascination for Dali, and this cyclical creative process forms the subject of his poem.
Limited edition of 550 copies. Slim quarto, with one tipped colour plate and two in black & white; a little flaking of the spine, overall good condition.