Salvador DALI,

Born in Figueres on May 11, 1904, and died in the same city, on January 23, 1989, is a Catalan painter, sculptor, engraver, screenwriter and writer of Spanish nationality. He is considered one of the main representatives of surrealism, and one of the most famous painters of the twentieth century.

From an early age, Salvador Dalí was encouraged to practice his art, and he would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid. In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Pablo PicassoRené Magritte and Miró, which led to Dalí's first Surrealist phase. He is perhaps best known for his 1931 painting The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting. The rise of fascist leader Francisco Franco in Spain led to the artist's expulsion from the Surrealist movement, but that didn't stop him from painting.

While in school, Dalí began exploring many forms of art including classical painters like Raphael, Bronzino and Diego Velázquez (from whom he adopted his signature curled moustache). He also dabbled in avant-garde art movements such as Dada, a post-World War I anti-establishment movement. While Dalí's apolitical outlook on life prevented him from becoming a strict follower, the Dada philosophy influenced his work throughout his life.

In between 1926 and 1929, Dalí made several trips to Paris, where he met with influential painters and intellectuals such as Picasso, whom he revered. During this time, Dalí painted a number of works that displayed Picasso's influence. He also met Joan Miró, the Spanish painter and sculptor who, along with poet Paul Éluard and painter Magritte, introduced Dalí to Surrealism. By this time, Dalí was working with styles of Impressionism, Futurism and Cubism. Dalí's paintings became associated with three general themes: 1) man's universe and sensations, 2) sexual symbolism and 3) ideographic imagery.

The sculpture remained anecdotal for a long time in the Dalinian creation, with rare exceptions, such as Scatological object with symbolic functioning (1931) or the Rhinocerontic Bust of the Dentelle of Vermeer (1955). He returned to three-dimensional creation in the 1960s, and especially in the 1970s, with the creation of the Teatre-Museum Gala Salvador Dalí: Bust of Dante (1964), Chair with vulture wings (1960), Lilith. Homage to Raymond Roussel (1966), Napoleon's funeral mask that can serve as a cover for a rhinoceros (1970).

Salvador Dalí said that when he was a child he modeled the Venus de Milo because it appeared on his pencil box: it was his first attempt at sculpture. From the 1930s, Dalí tried his hand at the third dimension with surreal objects. He created with Giacometti58 objects with symbolic functioning, Bust of a retrospective woman. Bust: bread and inkwell, assembling a milliner's hobby in painted porcelain with various other salvage objects (1933). In 1936, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí collaborated to make the Venus de Milo with drawers.

From this period dates the realization of bronze sculptures made from his most famous paintings, such as The Persistence of Memory, the Profile of Time, the Nobility of Time, Venus with the Giraffe, The Hallucinogenic Toreador, The Space Venus, Alice in Wonderland, The Space Elephant, which testifies with extreme vigor to the force of expression of her surreal iconographic images.


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