Best Known For
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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Salvador Dali was born May 11, 1904 in Figueres, Spain. From an early age Dali was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920's Dali went to Paris and began interacting with Picasso, Magritte, and Miro leading to his first Surrealist phase. The rise of the fascist leader Franco in Spain led to Dali's expulsion from the Surrealist movement, but that did not prevent him from painting.
Don't bother about being modern. Unfortunately it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.
Born Salvador Dalí on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain, located 16 miles from the French border in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains. His father, Salvador Dalí y Cusi, was a middle class lawyer and notary. Salvador's father had a strict disciplinary approach to raising children—a style of child-rearing which contrasted sharply with that of his mother, Felipa Domenech Ferres. She often indulged young Salvador in his art and early eccentricities. It has been said that young Salvador was a precocious and intelligent child, prone to fits of anger against his parents and schoolmates. Consequently, Dalí was subjected to furious acts of cruelty by more dominant students or his father. The elder Salvador wouldn't tolerate his son's outbursts or eccentricities, and punished him severely. Their relationship deteriorated when Salvador was still young, exacerbated by competition between he and his father for Felipa's affection.
Dalí had an older brother, born nine months before him, also named Salvador, who died of gastroenteritis. Later in his life, Dalí often related the story that when he was five years old, his parents took him to the grave of his older brother and told him he was his brother's reincarnation. In the metaphysical prose he frequently used, Dalí recalled, "[we] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections." He "was probably a first version of myself, but conceived too much in the absolute."
Salvador, along with his younger sister Ana Maria and his parents, often spent time at their summer home in the coastal village of Cadaques. At an early age, young Salvador was producing highly sophisticated drawings, and both his parents strongly supported his artistic talent. It was here that his parents built him an art studio before he entered art school.
Upon recognizing his immense talent, Dalí's parents sent him to drawing school at the Colegio de Hermanos Maristas and the Instituto in Figueres, Spain in 1916. He was not a serious student, preferring to daydream in class and stand out as the class eccentric, wearing odd clothing and long hair. After that first year at art school, he discovered modern painting in Cadaques while vacationing with his family. There he also met Ramon Pichot, a local artist who frequently visited Paris. The next year, his father organized an exhibition of Salvador's charcoal drawings in the family home. By 1919, Dalí had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theater in Figueres.
In 1921, Salvador Dalí's mother, Felipa, died of breast cancer.
Included In These Groups
From the surrealist melting watches of Salvador Dalí to the edgy graffiti-inspired canvases of Jean-Michel Basquiat, famous Hispanic artists have used their rich imaginations to capture the world’s collective eye. Legendary painters such as cubist Pablo Picasso, self-portrait master and feminist icon Frida Kahlo and revolutionary muralist Diego Rivera, made strong political and personal statements with their work that both defied definition and created new ones. Learn more about these renowned Hispanic painters, sculptors and illustrators, from their early days, to their struggle for acceptance in the art world, to their arrival at legendary status and more. See all the artists.
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