The theme of lapsing time troubled Dalí incessantly. The artist stated “The mechanical object was to become my worst enemy, and as for watches, they would have to be soft, or not be at all”. The horse, one of Dalí’s favourite images, is saddled with Dalinian time. The famous soft-watch is used here in place of a normal saddle. The horse is portrayed as the representation of life weighed down and harnessed tightly by time. The sculpture signifies the omnipresence of time and the weight it has in all our actions.
The raging horse appears to protest against this unwelcome constraint, his movements a futile attempt to free himself. Time races on and reminds us of man’s fleeting voyage through life and our own mortality. This surrealistic beast cannot be ridden by man, for it is time who is the ultimate rider.
Dalí believed that time and space could not be dissociated, and this sculpture illustrates time in its disordered dimension, fluid, receding and transitory.
This sculpture is one of the first from the collaboration between Beniamino Levi, President of the Dalí Universe, and Dalí himself. For this sculpture, Dalí created the maquette in wax, moulding it with his fingers. The hand markings are visible in the body of the horse, its muscles and particularly the mane.