Salvador Dalí

Alchimie des Philosophes – L’Immortalite (Immortality)

c1975
lithograph on parchment
Inventory number 839
Alchemy is an ancient philosophical tradition, associated with purification. It is believed that alchemists sought to purify base materials into gold whilst practicing spiritual exercises to purify the human soul to reach perfection. 

Dalí created 275 copies of the artist book Alchimie des Philosophes, each containing 10 artworks representing distinct alchemical themes.  

L'Immortalite signifies the alchemist’s belief that the imperfect human soul can achieve excellence through transformation, ultimately reaching immortality in the afterlife. The face of the figure is shaped like an egg and a cracked egg appears within the centre of the face. For Dalí, the egg symbolises resurrection and rebirth which speaks to the alchemist’s belief in the possibility of immortality.