According to Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool. Unable to embrace the watery image, he pined away, and the gods immortalised him as a flower. Dalí shows this metamorphosis by doubling a crouching figure by the lake with a hand clutching an egg, from which the narcissus flower sprouts. When this painting was first exhibited it was accompanied by a long poem by Dalí. Together, the words and image suggest a range of emotions triggered by the theme
of metamorphosis, including anxiety, disgust and desire.