Salvador Dali

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Dalí, Salvador

(sälväthōr` dälē`, dä`lē), 1904–89, Spanish painter. At first influenced by futurismfuturism,
Italian school of painting, sculpture, and literature that flourished from 1909, when Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's first manifesto of futurism appeared, until the end of World War I.
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, in 1924 Dalí came under the influence of the Italian painter de ChiricoChirico, Giorgio de
, 1888–1978, Italian painter, b. Vólos, Greece. Chirico developed his enigmatic vision in Munich and Italy and from 1911 to 1915 he worked and exhibited in Paris.
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 and by 1929 he had become a leader of surrealismsurrealism
, literary and art movement influenced by Freudianism and dedicated to the expression of imagination as revealed in dreams, free of the conscious control of reason and free of convention.
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. His precisely realistic style enhances the obsessively nightmarish effect of many of his paintings. Among his best-known works is Persistence of Memory (1931; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) with its strangely melting clocks. In 1940 Dalí escaped from Nazi-occupied France and emigrated to the United States. He wrote The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942) and also made surrealist ventures in films (e.g., Luis BuñuelBuñuel, Luis
, 1900–83, Spanish film director, b. Calanda, Aragón. In his best films, he used poetic, often bizarre imagery and black humor to question and undermine all claims of authority and knowledge.
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's Un Chien andalou, 1928), advertising, and the ballet. A self-proclaimed genius, Dalí was certainly a multitalented artist–a superb draftsman whose wildly inventive imagination has left a strong impression on contemporary culture. However, his publicity-seeking antics, commercialism, and encouragement of art-world trickery that made fake Dalí prints an industry caused some to brand him a charlatan. The Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Teatre-Museu Dalí, Figueres, Spain, are devoted to his works.


See his diary, ed. by M. Déon (tr. 1965), Diary of a Genius (tr. 1994); C. Maurer, ed., Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Momentos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca (2004); R. Descharnes and G. Neret, Dali: The Paintings (2 vol., 2004); biographies by I. G. De Liano (1984), R. Rom (1985), M. Etherington-Smith (1993), and I. Gibson (1998); studies by C. Lake (1969), H. N. Finkelstein (1996), R. Goff (1998), R. Radford (1998), and E. H. King, ed. (2010).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dali, Salvador


Born May 11, 1904, in Figueras, Catalonia. Spanish American painter.

Dalí studied at the San Fernando Academy of Arts in Madrid from 1921 to 1926. From 1929 he lived in Paris and in 1940 settled in the United States. He lives in the USA and Spain. In 1928, Dalí joined the surrealist movement. Executed with technical precision, Dali’s paintings (The Persistence of Memory, 1931, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Jirafa de fuego, 1935, Public Art Collection. Basel) are nightmarish phantasmagorias and delirious visions, where unnatural situations and deliberately absurd combinations of objects take on apparent reality and authenticity. Beginning in 1941, Dalí turned to religious paintings and landscapes, bringing highly original fantasy to classical themes and composition structure (The Last Supper, 1955, National Gallery of Art, Washington). Dali’s works are characterized by unnatural fantasies and speculation on the political, religious, and aesthetic interests of the bourgeois public.


Morse, A. R. Dalí: A Study of His Life and Work. Greenwich, Conn. [1958].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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