Salvador Dalí

Alice in Wonderland – A caucus race and a long tale

1969
heliogravure on paper
Inventory number 324
In 1969 Salvador Dalí illustrated a limited edition of the classic 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly referred to as Alice in Wonderland), written by Lewis Carroll. 

In Carroll’s fairy tale, Alice arrives in a land filled with enchanting creatures including birds and a mouse. Removing herself from the pool of her own tears, Alice dries herself with the animals by engaging in a caucus race. There are no rules to the fantastical race. All the participants are winners after moving around haphazardly. After immense pleasure, the animals flee when Alice starts talking about her cat. Like a child, Alice assumes that the animals will all love her cat because she does, without considering the feelings of fears of other beings. 

Birds in different forms, a mouse and a cat all appear in the Alice in Wonderland – A caucus race and a long tale illustration. Other imagery includes classic Dalí symbolism such as the ant. For Dalí, the ant represents decomposition and the ephemeral – not lasting forever like the caucus race.