Thursday, August 9, 2007

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Sierra Club


At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.


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Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali was born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain. He attended Municipal Drawing School, where he first received formal art training. In 1916 Dali discovered modern painting on a summer vacation with the Pichot family. The next year Dali's father organized an exhibition of his charcoal drawings in their family home. He had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theater in Figueres in 1919. He moved to Madrid, where he studied at the Academy of Arts (Academia de San Fernando) from which he was expelled in 1926 because of conflicts with his teachers. (He stated that the faculty was not competent enough to examine him.)

1929 was an important year for Dali. He collaborated with Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel on the short film Un Chien Andalou; he met his muse and future wife, Gala (then married to the poet Paul Eluard); had his first professional exhibition; and joined the Surrealist group in Paris. In 1931, Dali painted The Persistence of Memory. In 1936, he painted Autumn Cannibalism and Soft Construction with Beans Premonition of Civil War. In 1939, he was expelled from the Surrealist group for political reasons. In 1940, Dali and Aluard moved to America, where they lived for eight years. In 1949, he painted Leda Atomica and The Madonna of Port Lligat, and returned to Europe. In 1951, he painted Christ of St. John of the Cross and Exploding Rephaelesque Head. In 1958, Dali and Aluard married. In 1959, Dali painted The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. In 1976, he painted Gala Contemplating the Sea. In 1983, he completed his final painting, The Swallow's Tail. He died on January 23, 1989. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Salvador Dali.]

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