Salvador Dalí

Born in Figueras in 1904, the Catalan artist Salvador Dalí is one of the most recognised names in 20th-century art. He was a leading Surrealist, known for his startling juxtapositions and dream-like images, including melting clocks, stork-legged elephants and lobster telephones.

Dalí’s first recorded painting was a landscape in oils supposedly painted in 1910, when he was six years old. While studying at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, Dalí became close friends with the older poet Federico García Lorca and the director Luis Buñuel, with whom he would later collaborate on the films Un Chien Andalou and L’Age d’or. Dalí’s early paintings followed the styles of Impressionism, Pointillism and for the most part, Cubism.

In 1926 he made his first trip to Paris. On his second visit, he was introduced by his fellow Catalan Joan Miró to the Surrealist group, whose activities Dalí had read about in a variety of periodicals. Welcomed by the Surrealists as a powerful new imagination, Dalí became fully associated with the movement in 1929. During these years he was also profoundly influenced by the writings of Sigmund Freud and the subconscious. Fusing the painterly style of Yves Tanguy’s mysterious landscapes with images from his hometown of Cadaqués, Dalí created a Surreal visual language rooted in bizarre transformations and fantastical visions of familiar objects and landscapes. His most iconic work, The Persistence of Memory (1931), sees melting clocks draped across a dreamlike vista. Dalí’s experiments through the 1930s culminated in his ‘Paranoiac-Critical Method’.

In the summer of 1929 Dalí met his future wife, muse and personal manager, Gala, when she visited him in Cadaqués with her husband, the poet Paul Éluard. He painted her repeatedly throughout his career, and Gala often became a vehicle for his visual experimentation. Throughout this period Dalí’s relationship with André Breton and the Surrealists grew increasingly strained until in 1934 he was expelled from the group.

Between 1940 and 1948 Dalí lived in the United States, where he gained great commercial success thanks to his bold strategies of self-promotion. He worked on several ballet and theatre productions during these years, designing stage sets and costumes. He also collaborated with both Walt Disney and Alfred Hitchcock on film projects. His eager commercialism displeased Breton and led to him being anagrammatically dubbed ‘Avida Dollars’ by the Frenchman.

After 1945 and the explosion of the atomic bombs, Dalí seized upon the innovations of the post-war generations of painters. He became interested in nuclear physics, biology and mathematics. At the same time, he was drawn to Christian devotional subjects, merging his atomic theory and devout Catholicism into powerful religious paintings such as his depiction of the crucifixion in Christ of Saint John of the Cross (1951). In the 1960s Dalí became concerned with recherches visuelles, exploring the optical mechanisms of illusion and the perceptions of images.

On his death in 1989, he bequeathed his estate to the Kingdom of Spain and the Independent Region of Catalonia. Dalí was buried in the Teatre–Museu Dalí in Figueres, which had been founded in 1974 as both a home for his work and a theatrical monument to his ideas and personality.


SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)

The Birth of Liquid Anguish (Naissance des angoisses liquides)

HUGNET, Georges (1906-1974) et Salvador DALÍ (1904-1989)

Onan . [Paris :] Éditions Surréalistes (José Corti), 1934.

DALÍ , Salvador (1904-1989) et Georges BIZET (1838-1875)

Carmen . New York : Shorewood publishers, 1970.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Moment de transition

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Etude pour 'Le miel est plus doux que le sang'

SALVADOR DALI (1904-1989)

Le spectre de Vermeer

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Chevauchée céleste

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Nu dans la plaine de Rosas

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Chevauchée céleste

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Le cavalier à la tour

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Le chevalier de la mort

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Sans titre, bateau à voiles dans la baie de Port Lligat

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

A Trombone and a Sofa Fashioned Out of Saliva

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Port Lligat au coucher du soleil

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Naissance d'une divinité

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Les mille et une grâce des mille et un jours de l'Alhambra

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Yang i Yin empordanesos (Ampurdanese Yang and Yin)

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Bouche mystérieuse apparaissant sur le dos de ma nurse

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Chevaliers en parade

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Cristo del Vallés (Christ of Vallés)

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Le triomphe de Tourbillon

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Le mausolée d'Halicarnasse

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Figure aux tiroirs

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Desert Landscape (paysage désertique), rideau de fond pour le décor une scène du film Spellebound (La maison du docteur Edwardes) d'Alfred Hitchcock

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Décor pour Roméo et Juliette

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Naissance de l'ameublement paranoïaque

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) and Edward James (1907-1984)

Lobster Telephone (white aphrodisiac)

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Femmes aux papillons

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Allegory of Sunset Air

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Jeune femme dans un paysage

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

La reine Salomé

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Ballerine en tête de mort

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Personnages dans le désert

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

L'oeil du peintre

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

The Flight, The Temptation, The Love, The Broken Wings

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Allégorie de soie

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Allégorie de l'âme

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Rhinocéros en désintégration

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Profile of Time

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)

Homage à Guimard I

SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)

Surrealist Gondola above Burning Bicycles (Drawing for a Film Project with the Marx Brothers)