Salvador Dali, the Painter

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Salvador Dali, the Painter 1904-1989

Salvador Dali was born on May 11, 1904 in Figueras, northern Catalonia, Spain. His father, Salvador Dali y Cusi, a state notary, was a dictatorial and passionate man. He was also fairly liberal minded, due to a short but intense period of renaissance, and he accepted his son's occupation as a painter without much resistance to the idea.

Salvador Dali exhibited many signs of marginality throughout his early years. Once Dali decided to become a painter, he concentrated fully on the intricicacies involved in the art. Dali was also a very temperamental and difficult child, who expected and received the fulfillment of his whims by his parents. When he attended school in Figuras starting at the age of nine, Dali became a class daydreamer. He also dressed differently from the others, preferring to wear a dark blue jacket which buttoned at the neck, a loose bow tie, and baggy trousers. Dali complemented this ensemble by maintaining long hair and sideburns, and by carrying about a cane.

Salvador Dali began his painting career at the age of eight. His parents allowed him to continue his artistic interests because of the influence of the Pichot family, a family full of artists who lived at the Mill-Tower, their family home. Ramon Pichot provided Dali with his first contact to Impressionism. During this early period Dali primarily created still lifes, figure drawings, and landscapes of Cadaques. Dali was also influenced by Juan Nunez, a teacher at a night school for drawing which he was allowed to attend. Nunez introduced Dali to watercolors and etchings. Dali was influenced by Impressionism until 1919. From 1920 to 1921 Impressionism gave way to Pointillism and the use of color. During this time ...

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...nterpretation of his dreams, and he was highly interpersonally intelligent due to his charismatic, eccentric character. He knew how to put people at ease, and how to relate to them through his works.

Salvador Dali was an exceptional painter. He seemed to have led a charmed life, being gifted with so many talents and a very loving wife. For the most part, Dali did not have much cause to be unhappy with his life. Salvador Dali summed up the mood of his life when he wrote, "Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali, and I ask myself, wonder struck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali" (Descharnes, 9).


Descharnes, Robert. Salvador Dali. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1976.

Gerard, Max. Dali. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1968.

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