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
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 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
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.
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.