Salvador Dalí

Dalí was born in Figueres as part of a prosperous middle-class family. The family suffered greatly before the artist's birth because their first son (also named Salvador) died quickly. The young artist was often told that he is the reincarnation of his dead brother. An idea that surely planted various ideas in the impressionable child. At an early age the young Dalí was inspired by his Catalan environment of his childhood and many of these landscapes would be used later in his paintings. He had his first drawing lessons at age 10 and in his late teens he went to the Madrid School of Fine Arts where he experimented with Impressionist and Pointillist styles.

In 1922 Dalí went to the Special Painting, Sculpture and Engraving School of San Fernando in Madrid where he lived at the Residencia de Estudiantes. Dalí started to develoop his flamboyant and provocative persona. Dalí was expelled from the academy in 1926 for insulting one of his professors during his final examination before graduation.
Bacchanale (1939)
He visited Pablo Picasso in his studio in Paris and found inspiration in what the Cubists were doing. He became interested in Futurist attempts to recreate motion and show objects from multiple angles. He began studying the psychoanalytic concepts of Freud as well as metaphysical painters like Giorgio de Chirico and Surrealists like Joan Miró. He began using psychoanalytic methods of mining the subconscious to generate imagery.
Apparatus and Hand (1927)
His first serious work of this style was "Apparatus and Hand" (1927) As a result of that he moved to Paris. In 1928 Dalí partnered with the filmmaker Luis Buñuel on "Un Chien Andalou" (An Andalusian Dog), a filmic meditation on obsessions and irrational imagery. Surrealists considered recruiting Dalí into their circle and in 1929 sent Paul Eluard and his wife Gala along with René Magritte and his wife Georgette to visit Dalí in Cadaques. Paul Eluard divorces and Gala will then become Dalí's lifetime partner and married her.
The Persistence of Memory (1931)
In the early 1930s Dalí created his own Paranoic Critical Method to create his paintings. He would use this method his entire life most famously seen in paintings such as "The Persistence of Memory" (1931) and "Soft Construction with Boiled Beans" (Premonition of Civil War) (1936).

Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) (1936)
In 1938 he met his hero Sigmund Freud. After painting his portrait Dalí was thrilled to learn that Freud had said "So far, I was led to consider completely insane the Surrealists, who I think I had been adopted as the patron saint". He also met British poet Sir Edward James who bought paintings from Dalí but also financed Dalí for 2 years to deliver his well known pieces "The Lobster Phone" (1936) and "Mae West Lips Sofa" (1937).
The Lobster Phone (1936)
During the second world war Dalí and Gala lived in the United States. Dalí was asked by the famous director Alfred Hitchcock to create the dream sequence in his thriller Spellbound (1945).

Fast-moving Still Life (1956)
Gala and Dalí moved back to Catalonia in Port Lligat in 1948 where they bought an old seaside house. In 1968 he bought a castle in Pubol for Gala and in 1971 she began staying there for weeks at a time, on her own, forbidding Dalí from visiting without her permission. She would be dosing him with non-prescribed medication that would result in health problems for Dalí that makes it hard for him te create his art. After her death in 1982 Dalí attempted suicide. He managed to create The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres. On January 23 1989 Dalí died of heart failure while listening to his favorite record "Tristan and Isolde". He is burried beneath the museum in Figueres.
The Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres

Dali in Paris at Vincennes Zoo (1950's)

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