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History Lesson: Salvador Dalí


Melting clocks and mustaches have become representative of Surrealist artist, Salvador Dalí. What few know is that he was nearly a prodigy and has made a major impact on the art world through his Surrealist works. Map Acte 3 celebrated his 111th birthday last week. Explore our curated collection of Dalí’s artwork online, as you discover more about the life of this creative mind. http://mapacte3.com/index.php/artistinfo?pid=37

Salvador Dalí was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain to a lawyer and a hosue mother. Fortunately, his parents always supported him in his artistic abilities. They encouraged his creativity and intelligence, sending him to art school at a very young age. By the time he was 15, Dalí had his first public exhibition at the Municipal Theatre of Figures.


In the academy, Salvador Dalí was exposed to different artistic styles – from Renaissance art, to Metaphysics and Cubism, to Dadaism. In addition to exercising various art genres, he also exercised his voice frequently. He was suspended, and later expelled from art school for his incessant and aggressive riots, claiming that the teachers were unqualified and inept, unable to teach him anything of value or worth.


1929 marked the beginning of Dalí’s first Surrealist period. Heavily influenced by the writings of Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dalí created works of art based on his dreams. He used what he called the “paranoiac-critical method” in order to tap into his subconscious so that he could alter reality to make it look how he wanted it to.

In 1934, Dalí was expelled from the group of Surrealist artists. It is unclear as to what caused this – whether it occurred because of a clash of political opinions or if it was related to individual issues that Dalí had with these artists. Nevertheless, he continued to work in the Surrealist style, participating in exhibitions, until he began his classical period in the early 1940s.


The Dalí Theatre-Museum was created and curated by Salvador from 1960 to 1974. It houses some of his greatest works, in an incredible range of styles and from a broad range of stylistic periods. The building itself is a work of art, as each space was carefully selected in order to create a wholesome, artistic experience, each element contributing equally to the museum as a whole.


Dalí was plagued with suffering during the final years of his left. In 1980, he was overcome by a motor disorder that left him unable to paint. Then, in 1982, his wife died. To make things worse, he was terribly burned in a fire in 1984, leaving him wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. After suffering both emotionally and physically, Salvador Dalí passed away from heart failure in 1989 at the age of 84.

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