short biography ~written
by HSU Art Intern Caritta Dooley
in Figueras, Spain, Salvador Dali was born and named after his father
Salvador. He had an older brother who died shortly before he was
born. Because of how close together the birth and the death were, his
parents thought that he was his older brother reincarnated. For the rest
of Dali's life he was bothered by cryptic memories of his brother who had
passed. His parents believed that he was both himself and his brother.
was overwhelming for him. His strenuous lifestyle was
to attribute to his strange and intense personality. In many of Dali's
writings, he conveys that the pressure to live both as he and his brother
was the reason for his obsessions with putrefaction and decay. This is
reason behind all of the decaying bodies, insects and most other
another child was born into the family. Her
name was Anna Maria Dali. Dali was very attached to her and later
she was a model for his academic works.
Dali began to paint seriously around age ten, then around age thirteen
really showed. He would
often visit the Pichot family, they were a very artistic family;
of his earliest influences with art can be directly tracked to them.
Pichot family encouraged his father to set Dali up with a little
his own. Much of Dali's teenage works were of the landscapes that
surrounded him in Figueras. Some of the more important landscapes
show up in his work are the Roman ruins that he would play in. Dali
deep connection to his Catalan heritage and it is shown over and
again throughout his work.
began his formal art training at the
Municipal Drawing School, at the hands of Juan Nunez. Dali soaked
basics of draughtsman ship, painting and engraving. At about the
his mother died in 1921, Dali basically thought of himself as an
Impressionist painter. His focus was still on landscapes and his
influences still came from the Pichot family.
his father remarried his aunt in 1922, Dali was accepted at Academia
in Madrid. At this school he studied painting, sculpture, and
engraving. At the age of 18 he was living in the dormitories and
young and elite group of intellectuals that have a great effect
Dali did not finish school or obtain a formal degree in art.
He was in fact
expelled in 1926 from San Fernando Academy simply for refusing
to take his
finals. It is said that he thought he knew more on the subject
instructors did. Dali spent much time traveling and worked with
available to him. It was not until 1928 that he obtained international
exposure at the Carnegie International Exposition in Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania with his painting "Basket of Bread". This painting
was in the
style of the Dutch masters.
influenced by artists such as Jan
Vermeer as he matured.
It was at this time that Dali was working to become one of
painters of all time. One of the more influential people
that he would
come into contact with was Gala Eluard. She was wife to the
Paul Eluard but she soon left him for Dali. Together they
lived in a small
home in the north in a small village named Port Ligat. He
was cut off from
his father's money because he did not approve of Gala. This
was the cause
of them not speaking for thirty years or so. It was also
the subject of
much of his work. Gala contributed to much of Dali's success.
She networked for him and advised him how to act
in the art community. Dali spent
much time in the United States, and around 1948 Gala had
publicity stunts that in return helped to him gain international
They would spend most of their time in New York or California.
make a switch to become 'classic,' and yet again another
shift that would
make him the master that he always dreamed to be.
to HSU Library - Dali Home Page
to Art Inside the Library Home Page
and suggestions about this page to: Liz
Updated: September 16, 2003
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