- Salvador Dalí

The Painter of Surrealist Art

Salvador Dalí's artwork of paintings as well as sculptures adorn and glamour museums, buildings and homes throughout the world. He is not only considered one the most prolific surrealist painter of the twentieth century but also one of most influential artist of Spain along with Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Francisco Goya and Diego Velázquez.

Early Years
      Dalí was born in 1904 in a small rural town located on the northeast of corner of Spain in the province of Girona, 16 miles from the French border, called Figueras. Salvador, whose formal name is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, was born into a somewhat wealthy family (supposedly of Moorish/Arab ancestry) whose father was a successful lawyer and notary in the area.

His Family
      His family had a summer home on the Mediterranean coast in a small fishing town called Cadaques. It is in this small fishing village that Salvador had his first art studio, which was built for him by his parents. Salvador's father, Salvador Dalí i Cusí was considered strict and his mother, Felipa Domenech Ferrés was considered more loving and less a disciplinarian. She encouraged herson's artistic skills. Salvador had a sister, Ana María, three year younger than him. An older brother, also named Salvador died before he was born. At the age of 17 Salvador's mother died of breast cancer. Her death as well as her influence as a strong, yet maternal mother greatly influenced his art over the years.

At very early age Salvador Dalí started school at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid and at the age of 21 had his first showing in Barcelona. He became an internationally known artist when his paintings were shown at the Carnegie Internationally Exhibition in the United States in 1928.

Wife Gala and Her Influence
      In 1928, Dalí met his wife, Gala (Elena Ivanovna Diakonova) who was born in Russian in Tatarstan, Russia. Born into sophistication and intellectual thought, Gala and Salvador married in Spain in 1934. Even though Gala was 10 years older and previously married to another painter, Paul Éluard, Even though Gala had humorous affairs during her marriage, Salvador Dalí and Gala stayed married until her death in 1982. Her influence in Salvador's life as a wife, good friend and businessperson helped capitulate Dalí's artistic expression into the public's eye not only in Europe, but in North and South America.

- Artists of Europe -

  • Vincent Van Gogh
  • Salvador Dalí
  • Édouard Manet
  • Joan Miró
  • Émile Zola
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Claude Monet
  • Michelangelo
  • Rembrandt
  • Paul Cézanne
  • Henri Matisse

His Art
      Sigmund Freud's writings, religious catholic upbringing and a strong paternal mother (who died when Salvador Dalí was 17) greatly influenced his art. With symbolism intertwined with his paintings and sculptures, Dalí became one of the leaders in surrealism, Salvador Dalí and his wife, Gala were not without controversy. They openly supported the dictator of Spain, Francisco Franco after the Spanish Civil war in 1939. His painting, "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans" painted in 1936 not necessarily portrayed their support for the Franco regime but his vehement disdain for war, especially the tumulus years of the Spanish Civil War

      Dalí not only was a great painter, but also worked on various sculptures, movies and books as well. His various pieces of art sometimes represented his flamboyant and egotistical self. In an interview, Salvador Dalí stated "Dalí is immortal and will not die". yet his art even with his unpopular personality characteristics was still popular throughout the world. Salvador Dalí died in the town of Figure, Spain from respiratory complications and heart failure in 1989.