Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali was born May 11, 1904 in the small Spanish town of Figueras in the province of Catalunya. The name ‘Salvador’ had been given to an older brother who died in infancy. When Dali was born the name was passed on to him. No one could have known just how revolutionary and important this name would become to the art world. Growing up, Dali was a difficult child and refused to conform to family or community customs. Dali’s father, a respected notary, his mother and younger sister all encouraged Dali’s early interest in art. In fact, a room in the family home was the young artist’s first studio. Early on, Dali’s talent was already refined beyond his years, and with each year his talent only grew, as did his interests.
Under the influence of the surrealist movement, Dali’s artistic style crystalized into the disturbing blend of precise realism and dreamlike fantasy that became his trademark. His paintings combined meticulous draftsmanship and detail with a unique and stimulating imagination. Dali often described his pictures as `hand-painted dream photographs,’ and had certain favorite and recurring images, such as the human figure with half-open drawers protruding from it, burning giraffes, and watches bent and flowing as if made from melting wax. Dali moved to the U.S. in 1940, where he remained until 1948. His later paintings, often on religious themes, are more classical in style. Dali truly created a new movement in art, but it was his own unique brand. Along with his other pursuits in the art realm – which included jewelry design, film production and clothing — it is his paintings and graphic works which remain the pinnacle of his sweeping importance and mystifying genius. To this day, they hang in museums all over the world.
Salvador Dali died January 23, 1989.