There can be no question of the public recognition of Salvador Dalí. Ask the man in then street to name a modern artist, and he will name Dalí. There are several stage in this public awareness. He is well-known as a showman and as one of the great artists of the century. Those who are familiar with his popular works praise his technical skills and enjoy his wild imagination. It seems that everyone knows the limp watches that appeared in his paintings, though not everyone can give its title, The Persistence of Memory.
A.Field, Dalí Sculpture Collection, 2005.
The Youth of Dalí : 1904-1915
Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí is born on May 11th, 1904 in Figueras, in the north of Catalonia. The area of its childhood always had a privileged place in his work as in his life. Very early, he expresses an attraction for the representational art and painting, already, revealing his personality original and inspired. He follows particular courses of drawing.
A Being Affected by its Childhood
His parents had lost their first boy also named Salvador. Their on-guard love encouraged the development of an unstable and egoistic temperament. His parents never recovered from death of their first wire, he was a genius entrusted the mother to her son. The young Salvador is deeply disturbed besides by seeing his name on the burial. “All my eccentricities, all my inconsistencies are constant the tragedy of my life […] I want to prove that I am not the died brother, but the living one”. It is in this context of non-identity that the young child evolves, under the sedentary eye of his parents.
Studies : 1921-1927
Whereas in Paris, Dadaism is in its apogee, Dalí is admitted at the San Fernando Institute, the Art Schools of Madrid. He improves there its knowledge of the sculpture, drawing and painting. Violently disputing the capacity of his professors, Dalí is excluded of this school. He will be excluded in 1922 for incentive with the rebellion from the pupils of the school. It is at that time that he meets Lorca and Bunuel, while during his first voyage in 1926 in Paris, he becomes acquainted with Picasso.
The Surrealist Movement : 1928-1937
In Paris, Dalí meets Breton, Eluard, Magritte and Ernst. He joins officially the surrealist group. During the summer 1929, the poet Paul Eluard and his wife Elena (Gala) return visit to the painter in his house of Cadaques. It is the thunderbolt between Dalí and this woman. She will be his “surrealist muse”, the inspirer of his life and work. Dalí exposes in Paris for the first time (11 paintings).
During the World War II, Dalí and Gala settle in Europe, spending the 1940-48 period in the United States. These years were very important for the artist. The Modern Art Museum of New York offers Dalí his first retrospective exhibition in 1941. In 1942, Dalí publishes his autobiography, Secret life.
Extension of the Dalínian work : 1961-1970
Dalí is increasingly more prolific: he writes and illustrates famous books, creates and designs decorations and costumes for operas, turns of films, works out new theories, carves, draws, creates jewels and pieces of furniture, mixes technical artistic, his genius does not have limit in art. His research on space and on the third dimension leads him to the study of holography.
End of a master : 1974-1989
In 1974, Dalí inaugurates Teatro Museo Dalí in Figueras (Spain). This event was followed by retrospectives in Paris and London until the end of the decade. After the death of his wife, Gala in 1982, the health of Dalí then starts to decline. Following the fire of his house in 1984, he was burned and dice at the time, his health worsens. Two years after, one establishes pacemaker to him. In this part of his life Dalí withdrew himself initially in Pubol and later in his apartment close to Teatro Museo. He dies on January 23rd, 1989.