Salvador Dali

Spanish Artist and Painter

Salvador Dali, Spanish painter and artist is best known for his surreal paintings and wacky artistic style. Born originally as Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech on May 11, 1904 at 8:45 am in Catalonia, Spain. Dali was named for his brother who was born of the same name but died at the age of three due to gastroenteritis. When Dali was five, his parents took him to visit his brother's grave and explained to him that he was his brother's reincarnation. Dali also had a younger sister by the name of Ana Maria. Dali had a love for drawing and painting and had his first gallery exhibition in 1919, when he was just fifteen years old. Unfortunately, when Dali was sixteen his mother died of breast cancer and his father remarried to Dali's aunt, his mother's sister.

Dali later attended the Academia de San Fernando (The School of Fine Arts) in 1922 in Madrid. His physical style captivated many with his long sideburns and attire being that of an Englishman from the nineteenth century. Dali's sense of style was not the only thing that got him attention, he was expelled from the school in 1926 for stating that "no one on the faculty was competent enough to examine him."

Dali's earliest paintings consist of cubism and as time went on, Dali's style became more surreal and dreamlike. And later in life moved back to his home town, Catalonia. Dali had a love interest, her name was Gala. They were married in 1934. Gala was inspiration for many of Dali's paintings and was said to have "saved him from madness and an early death." Unfortunately, Gala died on June 10, 1982. After Gala's death, Dali lost most of his will to live and deliberately dehydrated himself in order to suspend himself in animation, something that he read some microorganisms could do. Dali died on January 23, 1989 due to heart failure at the age of 84.

Many of Dali's paintings consist of religious elements and are often based upon his dreams. What is most interesting about Dali's work is that every element each painting has a meaning behind it, even the smallest ant has a deep meaning. One could almost say that each painting is a self-portrait of himself.

Some time ago, in the 1970s, Dali had created a film Called "A Soft Self Portrait." This film illustrates his thoughts on life, death and most of all birth. The film may be hard for some to watch because of it's surreal nature and disturbing visual elements. You can view the entire video here.

Dali's life and art has inspired many artists to follow their dreams and create art that is of a unique style. Most of Dali's work is on display in Spain.

salvador dalisalvador dalidali with cat