The Surreal World of Salvador Dali

By Madhavi Pothukuchi

May 11, 2022

Source: Alamy

Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist born on  11 May, 1904, who went on to become one of the most famous artists of his time and remains so even today, with some of his paintings selling for millions. Let’s learn more about his life and his art.

Source: Alamy

Dali was mainly inspired by the avant-garde art movement, which flipped traditional art on its head. Any kind of art that is made with out-of-the-box ideas and doesn’t show the usual kind of creativity, is considered avant-garde. Dali became part of this movement through surrealism in the early 1900s.

Image: Metamophosis of Narcissus;  Source: Alamy

Surrealism is an art movement that was inspired by dreams and fantasy. It started in the 1920s in Paris with poet Andre Breton, who believed that art should turn away from real-life concepts and instead, think of the bizarre and the unreal.

Image: The Lugubrious Game; Source: Alamy

Dali’s art is the most famous kind of surrealist art because of its bizarre, mind-bending concepts like a lobster telephone or a melting clock. Installations like these and his other paintings and sculptures were shocking and weird but they made you think.

Image: Lobster Telephone;  Source: Alamy

Much like his art, Dali was also known for his wild, eccentric ways. You may recognise him thanks to his long, twirly moustache, dramatic expressions and crazy fashion sense. 

Source: Alamy

His most famous painting, The Persistence of Memory, is still seen as the most profound piece of surrealist art. It talks about the nature of time and space. He often took inspiration for his paintings from his friend, artist Pablo Picasso.

Image: The Persistence of Memory;  Source: Alamy

Dali and his art were too shocking and new for his time, so much so that many did not like him nor did they give him good reviews. It was only towards the end of his life and after his death that his art gained importance, with his paintings selling for millions.

Image: Galatea of the Spheres; Source: Alamy

Dali may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but his effect on the world of art is undeniable. He died on 23 January 1989, in his hometown, as one of the most striking artists in history.

Source: Wikimedia 

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