Spanish (1904-1989), Salvador Dali was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904. He is known for his technical skill as a painter and this surrealistic imagination. Dali consistently depicted the landscape of his homeland, one that became synonymous with the landscape of his 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 towards 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 passed away on January 23, 1989.