Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali
Salvador Dali, o­ne of the most famous surrealist painters, lived from 1904-1989. He is most renowned for producing more than 1500 paintings, but also delved into other media such as sculpting, photography, writing, drawing and filmmaking. However, Dali - egotistical, flamboyant and controversial - frequently clashed with authority figures and peers. His fiery personality and politics often got him into trouble. Tall and statuesque, he was also known for his striking appearance and waxed, up-turned moustache.

Dali was born in Catalonia, Spain and later studied in Madrid at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts. There he experimented with cubism, but was later expelled. He visited Paris in 1926 and met Pablo Picasso - a major influence o­n his work. He became well known two years later when three of his paintings, o­ne of which was The Basket of Bread, were shown in Pittsburgh. A year after that, he joined the surrealists and soon became a leader in that movement. In 1929 Dali met Gala, the woman he would later marry. She was married at the time they met, but they soon began a love affair that lasted until her death in 1982. She would profoundly influence Dali and his art. He painted his most famous work – The Persistence of Memory (or Melting Clocks) – in 1931. In another dispute he was expelled by the surrealists.

Salvador Dali
An eccentric man, o­n o­ne occasion Dali and his wife attended a masquerade party dressed as the Lindbergh baby and his kidnapper. Another time, he gave a lecture dressed in a full diving suit and helmet. Later in life, he was criticized for being too commercial and obsessed with his own celebrity status. Regardless of others' opinions of him, Salvador Dali was certainly a man who knew how to get noticed.