Salvador Dali’

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Salvador Dali’

Domenech was born on May 11, 1904 in the small farming town of Figueres in the Catalonian region of Spain. It was here in the foothills of the Pyrenees where Dali spent his youth, that many of the ideas, inspirations, and images repeated in his paintings have their roots. As a young boy Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid. At the academy Dali studied many different painting styles and became quite proficient at them. Many of his earlier works include impressionist, cubist, and realist techniques. As Dali matured, these interests were transformed into his own surrealistic style. The first recognition of Dali’s talents came with his first show held in Barcelona in 1925. He became known globally when three of his paintings, including The Basket of Bread were on display at the 3rd annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928. It was also this year that Dali joined a group of painters led by Andre Breton known as the surrealists. Soon after this Dali met Gala Eluard when she was on a trip with her husband Paul Eluard. Gala became Dali’s lover, business manager, and primary inspiration. Dali soon became the leader of the Surrealist movement, until he was expelled from the group during a trial in 1934 due to political clashes during WWII. After this expulsion Dali slowly moved away from his surrealistic style and moved into his classic period. His new interests in the Catholic Church, science, and history are evident in these works. Some of his most well known works from this period are The Hallucinogenic Toreador, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, The Sacrament of the Last Supper, and The Ecumenical Council. Many of these classical works were done on large canvases 14 feet high. In order to paint these huge canvases, Dali removed a section of his floor and set up a system of pulleys so he could raise and lower the canvases between the two floors. Dali’s wife Gala died in 1982 and he was faced with a deteriorating health in his own life shortly after. In 1984 Dali was injured in a fire in his home in Pubol, Spain. In 1986 a pacemaker was implanted into Dali, and he died from heart failure on January 23, 1989. During his life, Dali was responsible for thousands of works, which varied from oils, watercolors, drawings, graphics, sculptures, jewels, and fashion designs to ...

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... a woman in a yellow boat located close to the bottom center of the painting represents this invasion. The large flies flying past this bay are symbolic of Dali’s common joke that even the notorious flies of the region could not drive away the tourists. Just above the bay, the bull appears. Dali painted the bull using the tentacle of an octopus. In the seats is a glowing bust of his wife Gala. The frown on her face is because she hates bullfights. In the back of the arena are many doors around the perimeter. Every door but one has a statue standing near it. These statues give the doors manmade and earthly qualities. The one door in center without the statues actually has an angel at each side. These angels represent a passage to heaven. This is where the bull or the toreador exits when one of the two is killed in the fight. In the bottom right corner is boy standing with a whip behind his back. This is Dali himself watching over the scene. The images in this painting are very different from the melting figures and objects from his surrealistic period. This classic period brought about much more realistic figures, while still having that twist that Dali is famous for.

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