Salvador Dali was born under the name Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marqués de Dalí de Pubol on May 11 1904. He was born in the Catalonia region of Spain to Salvador Dali senior and mother Felipa Domenech Ferrés. His father was a notary and lawyer and was strict, however is mother often encouraged Salvador’s artistic interests. When Salvador was five years old he was taken to his brother’s grave, of the same name who had died nine months before Salvador was born, and was told that he was his brother’s reincarnation to which he eventually came to believe. Dali began attending drawing school in 1916 and soon discovered the art of modern painting on a summer trip toCadaqués. In 1917 Salvador’s father arranged an exhibition in their home of his sons charcoal drawings. Salvador had his first public exhibition in 1919 at the Municipal Theater in Figueres.
When Dali was just 16 years old his mother had died of breast cancer and his father remarried his mother’s sister. Dali is quoted to have said this of his mother’s death “was the greatest blow I had experienced in my life. I worshipped her… I could not resign myself to the loss of a being on whom I counted to make invisible the unavoidable blemishes of my soul.” In 1922 Dali moved to Madrid and began attending art school. Dali drew many other students in as an eccentric, however it was his paintings that experimented with Cubism that drew his peers in the most. Dali continued to draw the attention of others even including Picasso.
In 1929 Dali collaborated on a surrealist film titled “Un Chien Andalou” with film maker Luis Buñuel. As years went on Dali’s relationship with his father began to disintegrate due to Dali’s relationship with Gala who would become his wife in 1934 during a somewhat secret ceremony. Gala managed Dali’s artistic endeavors and never seemed to mind his relations with younger women. Gala stayed a muse to Dali and they were married for over 50 years, this relationship later became the subject of an opera. Dali went on to become a legend within the art world and has collaborated with many great’s. In 1934 he was introduced to America, and ended up changing the world of art as we know it today.
Sadly, by the time Dali was 76 his artistic ability had diminished due to his health. His wife was reportedly dosing him with a cocktail of medications which left him with damage to his nervous system and a shaky right hand. After Gala’s death on June 10 1982 Dali lost much of his will to live and went on to attempt suicide many times with different sources including self induced dehydration and fire. Dali was eventually admitted to a hospital in November 1988 due to heart failure. Dali struggled with such health until his death due to heart failure on January 23rd 1989. Dali died as his favorite record Tristan and Isolde played in the background. Dali was then buried in a crypt at his Teatro Museo in Figueres which is near many of his life’s landmarks such as the church he was baptized in and his childhood home. For the years Dali was alive he managed to make a huge impression on the world of art and unknowingly changed it forever.
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"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision."