Robert Descharnes was one of the main authority on Salvador Dalí’s sculptures, he is the author of the artist’s catalogue raisonné, ‘The Hard and the Soft, Sculptures and Objects’. Following is an excerpt from his book:
“Subjects come from the numerous themes Dalí used at different instances in his carrier, like the soft watches, the “Persistence of memory”, or elephants. A few deserve to have the story of their birth told:
Example: The Horse Saddled with Time.“A little before 1980, Beniamino Levi asked Dalí for a sculpture of a horse. He immediately started to mould the animal by working on a wooden model with joints that he patiently wound up in a web of white wax. Seated next to him in the salon of the Hotel Meurice, I was charge with preparing the white wax while observing from the corner of my eye the birth of what should have been a fiery stallion. Yest it was still a bandage. And then, little by little, kneaded by the thumbs of the artist, the small layers of wax gave birth to the horse. To finish the sculpture, Dalí moulded a soft watch like a saddle. At the end of the day, after five hours work, the model was ready to go to the foundry.” Robert Descharnes quoting R.D. Carnet
The involvement of the technician in the process is the creation of the mold using Dalí’s original model specifically created and designated by the artist for sculptural edition, pouring the bronze, then later applying the patina.
“The famous soft watches are nothing else than the tender, extravagant, solitary, paranoic-critical Camembert of time and space” – Salvador Dalí