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Salvador Dali Paintings

Salvador Dali became one of the world’s greatest Surrealist artists. He was born in Spain and began his artistic training at the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts located in Madrid, in the early 1920s. At the Madrid Academy he learned to perfect a realistic and carefully detailed style displaying amazing technical abilities as a painter. Three of his paintings were exhibited in the Carnegie International Exhibition in 1928 and he became internationally known for his work.

In the late 1920’s Dali became familiar with the work of Sigmund Freud on dreams and the importance of the subconscious. Around the same time Dali joined the surrealist group that was led by Andre Breton, a former Dadaist. The group promoted the greater reality of a man’s subconscious over reason. During this time his paintings matured and he quickly became the most well-known Surrealist. His paintings portrayed dream-type worlds where images were distorted and morphed into bizarre and deformed images. His images showed amazingly realistic details and were typically set in a drab landscape, reflecting his love of his childhood home in Catalonia. His most famous painting during this period is probably The Persistence of Memory, one of the best-known surrealist paintings.

In 1934, Salvador Dali was put through a mock trial by the Surrealist group who claimed that he was not meeting the goals of the group. Due to his political views as well as his change to a more academic and traditional painting style he was convicted and expelled from the Surrealist group.

In 1940, Dali and Gala fled from France to the United States, shortly before the Nazi invasion, on a passage paid for by Picasso. While in the United States, Dali devoted a large amount of time to self-publicity and spent time illustrating books, writing, painting, designing jewelry and working for the theatre. His work was displayed in 1941 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then traveled throughout the country.

In the early 1940’s Dali began to move away from Surrealism and began painting more religious and scientific images. He developed a unique style of his own that would bring the everyday together with the Surreal. Some of his best known works of this time period are The Hallucinogenic Toreador, and The Sacrament of the Last Supper.

In the 1950’s Dali’s painting took on another twist. He developed a diverse blending of all of his artistic and philosophical influences into a principle of Nuclear Mysticism. He figured that the reality of nature would eventually be explained by science. His painting Nature Morte Vivante demonstrates his concept. He also found painting inspiration from classical masters Raphael and Velasquez.

In 1980 Salvador Dali had to retire from his art due to a motor disorder that left him with trembling and weak hands.

Dali was a constantly growing and changing artist. He painted in oils and watercolors but was not contained by painting alone, he completed drawings, graphics, films, sculptures, jewelry, and written pieces. Salvador Dali is still one of the best-known artists of modern art. His paintings have an instantly recognizable quality and perplexing beauty.