Salvador Dali (May 11, 1904 – January 23,
1989), was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, Salvador Dali is known for
his technical skill as a painter and the shocking quality of his
imagination. His pioneering spirit was also accompanied by a reverence
of tradition and a will for continuity. Dali consistently depicted the
landscape of his homeland, one that became synonymous with the landscape
of the imagination and of dreams. He forged in his long career a
remarkable body of work, and his life demonstrates the richness of
living creatively in every aspect of one’s existence.
Salvador Dali was the only surviving male child of
a prosperous Catalan family that divided its time between Figueres and
the coastal village of Cadaqués. Dali attended a prominent art
academy in Madrid. From his earliest years as an artist he exhibited
his work widely, lectured, and wrote. In 1929 he joined the Surrealist
movement becoming its most visible and controversial member. That year,
Dali met Gala Eluard when she visited him with her husband, poet Paul
Eluard. Subsequently, Gala became Dali’s wife, his muse, primary
model, and life-long obsession.
Dali broke with the Surrealist movement in 1939.
He and Gala fled Europe in 1940 and spent the war years in the United
States where he revised his strategy toward art, rejecting modernism
and connecting with other traditions of art. In 1947 Dali and Gala
returned to Spain and thereafter divided their time between Europe
and the United States. In 1974, Dali organized a museum of his own
collection of art, the Teatro-Museo Dali in Figueres. After the
death of Gala in 1982, Dali’s health declined. His final years
were spent in seclusion at his museum. Salvador Dali died on January
23, 1989 in the place of his birth.