The 150th Anniversary Edition of “Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll, Illustrated by Salvador Dalí, is a treasure for a home library of any size. Published by Princeton University Press in 2015, the great work by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) is hauntingly interpreted by Dalí’s twelve heliogravures, one for each chapter.
Dalí created a timeless symbolic image of the innocence of young girls in his 1935 masterpiece “Nostalgic Echo”. The “hand painted dream photograph” depicts a “Girl Skipping Rope” in a courtyard, an elongated shadow before her, and the surreal image repeated above in the bell tower.
He continued the theme the next year in his Triptych “Landscape With A Girl Skipping Rope” (1936).
Dalí presents the motifs of the bell tower (time), evoking the allusion of a clock striking twelve (“Cinderella” & 12 chapters in “Wonderland”), and the “dreamlike” symbolism of feminine innocence “undone” as young girls skipping rope eventually mature and become women.
Metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), clearly influenced Dalí with the girl pushing the hoop in “The Mystery and Melancholy of a Street” (1914).
“Alice” becomes conscious of herself, changing as she descends into the rabbit hole, not unlike the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. Or Innocence Lost.