Salvador Dalí Sundial – Paris, France - Atlas Obscura

Salvador Dalí Sundial

A surrealist timepiece by the artist of melting clocks. 


Up above Rue Saint-Jacques in Paris is a curious sundial designed by artist Salvador Dalí. Its human-like face is a scallop shell, while blue eyes with eyebrows like flames are cast in the concrete.

The sundial was installed in 1966 at a ceremony with the surrealist himself, who rode up on a lift to the sundial with his pet ocelot for some finishing touches to the accompaniment of a brass band. You can still spot his signature on the bottom right corner of the sundial.

The shell face is meant to reference the scallop symbol of the pilgrimage of St. Jacques de Compostella (also known as the Way of St. James), for whom the street is named. Others, however, see it as a self-portrait with Dalí’s iconic mustache flaring out from the face. Either way, the sundial unfortunately does not work, although what do you expect from the artist of melting clocks?

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