Double Image, 1965
watercolor and ink on paper, image 24 3/4 inches diameter
Surrealist artist Salvador Dali created a number of paintings for Hallmark Cards, mainly for use on Christmas and Mother’s Day greetings. This complex work, however, was made for Springbok, the puzzle company which was acquired by Hallmark. The circular or “tondo” format was common to many challenging Springbok puzzles of the period.
The central motif of Double Image is a pair of women whose combined image, especially when seen from a distance, forms the head and shoulders of the French writer and philosopher Voltaire. Dali had already completed two paintings with this double image, including Slave Market with the Disappearing Bust of Voltaire (1940), using as his guide the well known marble portrait of Voltaire by the French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdin. According to Dali, the apparition signified good luck, and the scavenging ants, a recurring motif throughout his life’s work, symbolized life and vitality.
To information about the artist can be found in our story Dali at Hallmark.
The discovery of “invisible images” was certainly part of my destiny. When I was six years old, I had astounded my parents and their friends by my almost mediumistic faculty of “seeing things differently.” Always I saw what others did not see; and what they saw, I did not. . . I am a believer in magic, which in the last analysis is simply the power of materializing imagination into reality.
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