Dali or Domenec Felip Jacint Dalí Domenech
was born on May 11, 1904 and passed away on January
23, 1989. He was an important Catalan-Spanish
painter, best known for his surrealist
works. Dalis work is noted for its striking
combination of bizarre dreamlike images with excellent
draftsmanship and painterly skills influenced by the
Renaissance masters. Dalí was an artist of great
talent and imagination. He had an admitted love of doing
unusual things to draw attention to himself, which sometimes
irked those who loved his art as much as it annoyed
his critics, since his eccentric theatrical manner sometimes
overshadowed his artwork in public attention.
Salvador Dali Biography
Dalí was born 08:45 a.m. May 11, 1904, at number
20 Monturiolin street in the town of Figueres, Catalonia,
Spain, the son of comfortable middle-class notary Salvador
Dalí i Cusí. Dalí attended Municipal
Drawing School, where he first received formal
art training. In 1916 Dalí discovered modern
painting on a summer vacation to Cadaqués with
the family of Ramon Pichot, a local artist who made
regular trips to Paris.
next year Dalí's father organized an exhibition
of his charcoal drawings
in their family home. He had his first public exhibition
at the Municipal Theater in Figueres in 1919. In 1921
his mother died of cancer, and his father married
the sister of his deceased wife, which the younger
Salvador somewhat resented.
Dali Posters and Prints
Browse through a large selection of Salvador Dali
art prints and posters of famous surrealist paintings
by the Spanish artist.
1922 Dali moved to Madrid, where he studied at the
Academy of Arts (Academia de San Fernando). Dalí
already drew attention as an eccentric, wearing long
hair and sideburns, coat, stockings and knee britches
in the fashion style of a century earlier. What got
him the most attention from his fellow students were
his paintings where he experimented with Cubism (even
though in these earliest Cubist works he arguably
did not completely understand the movement, for his
only information on Cubist art came from a few magazine
articles and a catalogue given to him by Pichot, since
there were no Cubist artists in Madrid at the time).
also experimented with Dadaism, which arguably influenced
his work throughout his life. He became close friends
with poet Federico García Lorca, with whom
he became romantically involved, and with Luis Buñuel
at this time. Dalí was expelled from the Academy
in 1926 shortly before his final exams when he stated
that no one on the faculty was competent to examine
same year he made his first visit to Paris, where
he met with Pablo
Picasso, whom young Dalí revered;
the older artist had already heard favorable things
about Dalí from Joan
Miró. Dalí did a number of
works heavily influenced by Picasso
and Miró over the next few years, as he groped
towards developing his own style. Some trends in Dalí's
work that would continue throughout his life were
already evident in the 1920s, however: Dalí
omnivorously devoured influences of all styles of
art he could find and then produced works ranging
from the most academic classicism to the most cutting
edge avant garde, sometimes in separate works, and
sometimes combined. Exhibitions of his works in Barcelona
attracted much attention, and mixtures of praise and
puzzled debate from critics.
was an important year for Dalí. He collaborated
with Spanish filmmaker Luis Buñuel on the short
film Un Chien Andalou and met his muse and future
wife, Gala, born Helena Deluvina Diakinoff, a Russian
immigrant eleven years his senior who was then married
to the surrealist poet Paul Eluard. In the same year,
Dalí had important professional exhibitions
and officially joined the Surrealist
group in the Montparnasse quarter of Paris (although
his work had already been heavily influenced by Surrealism
for 2 years). The Surrealist hailed what Dalí
called the Paranoiac-critical method of accessing
the subconscious for greater artistic creativity.
1934 Dalí and Gala, having lived together since
1929, were married in a civil ceremony.
Francisco Franco's coming to power in the aftermath
of the Spanish Civil War, Dalí came into conflict
with his fellow Surrealists over political beliefs.
As such Dalí was officially expelled from the
predominantly Marxist Surrealist group. Dalí's
response to his expulsion was "Surrealism is
me." Andre Breton coined the anagram "Avida
Dollars," by which he referred to the Dalí
after the period of his expulsion; the Surrealists
henceforth would speak of Dalí in the past
tense, as if he were dead. The surrealist movement
and various members (such as Ted Joans) thereof would
continue to issue extremely harsh polemics against
Dalí until the time of his death and beyond.
war started in Europe, Dalí and Gala moved
to the United States in 1940, where they lived for
eight years. In 1942 he published his entertaining
autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí.
spent his remaining years back in his beloved Catalonia.
The fact that he chose to live in Spain while it was
ruled by Franco drew criticism from progressives and
many other artists. Some think that the common dismissal
of Dalí's later works has more to do with politics
than the actual merits of the works themselves.
Late in his career Dalí did not confine himself
to painting but experimented with many unusual or
novel media and processes; for example, he made bulletist
works and claimed to have been the first to employ
holography in an artistic manner. Several of his works
incorporate optical illusions.
flamboyant moustache became well known. It was influenced
by that of 17th century Spanish master painter Diego
1958, Dalí and Gala were re-married in a Roman
1960 Dalí began work on the Teatro-Museo Gala
Salvador Dalí in his home town of Figueres;
it was his largest single project and the main focus
of his energy through 1974. He continued to make additions
through the mid 1980s. He found time, however, to
design the Chupa Chups logo in 1969.
1982 King Juan Carlos of Spain bestowed on Dalí
the title Marquis of Pubol.
died on June 10, 1982. After Gala's death, Dalí
lost much of his will to live. He deliberately dehydrated
himself--possibly as a suicide attempt, possibly in
an attempt to put himself into a state of suspended
animation, as he had read that some microscopic animals
moved from Figueres to the castle in Pubol which he
had bought for Gala and was the site of her death.
In 1984 a fire broke out in his bedroom under unclear
circumstances--possibly a suicide attempt by Dalí,
possibly a murder attempt by a greedy caretaker, possibly
simple negligence by his staff-- but in any case Dalí
was rescued and returned to Figueres where a group
of his friends, patrons, and fellow artists saw to
it that he was comfortable living in his Theater-Museum
for his final years.
have been accusations against his caretakers for having
presumedly forced Dalí to sign blank sheets
that would be later (even after his death) printed
and sold as originals. Art dealers are wary of late
works attributed to Dalí.
Dalí died of heart failure on January 23, 1989
at Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. He is buried in the
crypt of his Teatro Museo in Figueres.
Salvador Dali Posters and Prints Online