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Salvador Dali is best known for his long surrealist painting career.
Salvador Dali - Meeting Gala (3:36)
While in Paris, Salvador Dali took part in the surreal movement of the time and met Gala, the woman who inspired his surreal paintings.
Salvador Dali was given the same name as his brother after his brother's death, leading to Dali having identity crisis issues that followed him for years after childhood.
In the 1960s, Salvador Dali was seen as an artistic icon and lived the life to back it up. Although he made millions for his sought after paintings, Dali spent millions to maintain his extravagant lifestyle.
The bizarre and private life of Salvador Dali and his wife Gala Dali inspired the artwork in several of his paintings.
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As a result, all rights to his collection were sold without his permission by other business managers resulting in Dalí losing much of his wealth. Two wealthy American art collectors, A. Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor, who had known Dalí since 1942, set up an organization called "Friends of Dalí" and a foundation to put the artist on a more secure financial footing. The organization also established the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In 1980, Dalí was forced to retire from painting due to a motor disorder that caused permanent trembling and weakness in his hands. He was not able to hold a paint brush, and lost the ability to express himself in the way he knew best. Then in 1982, his beloved wife and friend, Gala, died. The two events put him in a deep depression. He moved to Pubol, in a castle he had purchased and remodeled for Gala, possibly to hide from the public or, as some speculate, to die. In 1984, Dalí was severely burned in a fire, which confined him to a wheelchair. Friends, patrons, and fellow artists rescued him from the castle and returned him to Figueres, making him comfortable in his Teatro Museo.
In November 1988, Salvador Dalí entered the hospital with a failing heart. After a brief convalescence, he returned to the Teatro Museo. On January 23, 1989, he died of heart failure at the age of 84. He is buried in the theater-museum's crypt, bringing his life in the world of art full circle. The Teatro Museo was built on the site where he had his first art exhibit, across the street from the church of Sant Pere where he was baptized, received his first communion, and his funeral was held. It's also three blocks from the house where he was born.
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