Salvador Dali (Surrealist Artist)



2015-06-26 10:47:10

Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989), full name Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech, Marquis de Púbol, was a significant Spanish artist from the Surrealist school.


Dali was born in the Catalan province of Figueres, near to the border with France in the Catalonia region of Spain. Dali's brother, also named Salvador, had died nine months prior to his birth; as a young child of five years old, he was taken to his brother's grave by his parents and informed he was his deceased brother's reincarnation.

Whilst Dali's father was austere and practical in nature, his mother encouraged her son's artistic side. Dali also had a sister named Ana Maria. He went to Madrid in 1922, to study at the Academia de San Fernando (School of Fine Arts). Dali was known for exuberant personal behaviour to match his work, so much so that during his lifetime, there were times when his own actions overshadowed his artistic endeavours, which enraged fans of his art and critics who held him in high esteem.

Dali died at the age of 84 of heart failure on January 23rd, 1989. He was buried in a crypt in his hometown, Figueres.


Dali was very much influenced by the Dada school, who had a profound impact on all the Surrealist painters. He is also regarded as having been heavily influenced by the Renaissance period, and worked within several artistic mediums, including canvas, photography and film.

Dali is enduringly remembered not only for his extensive body of work (which frequently contained startling imagery, drawing upon the subconscious for inspiration) but for his iconic look, typified by a wild facial expression and his elaborate moustache. These factors have combined to make him something of a cult figure.

Most Famous Works

Dali's work often referenced that of others in different fields, including Albert Einstein, who's theory of relativity is evoked in Dali's infamous The Persistence Of Memory, which he completed in 1931, and which has been resident in the Museum Of Modern Art in New York since 1934. The painting features the famous image of melting clocks, which remain widely referenced in popular culture.

Influence On Other Artists

Dali was adamantly a surrealist until the end of his days, and was quoted as saying, "The only difference between me and the surrealists is that I am a surrealist." His work and attitude to his work had a profound effect on those around him, inspiring them to both work for and with him on collaborative projects.

Andy Warhol once cited Dali as instrumental in the formation of pop art. Many subsequent artists have cited Dali as a major influence on their all-encompassing approach to their art, amongst these people being the ever-controversial modern artist Damien Hirst.

Notable Auction Sales

Dali's 1929 portrait of Paul Eluard, originally valued at £5 million, sold for £13.5 million in 2011, making it the most expensive Dali ever sold.

Popularity with Collectors

Dali produced over 1,500 paintings during his lifetime, as well as numerous costume and set designs for theatres, book illustrations, sculptures, drawings and even a short film he created for Disney.

In 2008, the U.S Department of Justice indicted seven 'art dealers' for their role in an alleged $5 million fraud scheme selling counterfeit Dali art prints; these prints were sold primarily through eBay; demand for real Dali's remains strong, though the sums for these sales are often undisclosed.

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