Salvador Dalí

Alchimie des Philosophes – Le yin et le yang (Yin and Yang)

lithograph on parchment
Inventory number 840
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.

Le yin et le yang is a colourful and disordered artwork with a yin and yang symbol appearing in the lower centre. Chinese alchemists believe the yin refers to the feminine and passive base material while the yang represents the masculine and active material needed for transformation. A figure on horseback appears above the yin and yang symbol, which are often present in Dalí’s artworks. For Dalí, the horse represents beauty and strength.