A Brief Biography
Felipe Jacinto Dali i Domenech was born at 8:45 on the morning of
May 11, 1904, in the small agricultural town of Figueres, Spain,
in the foothills of the Pyrenees, only sixteen miles from the French
border in the principality of Catalonia. The son of a prosperous
notary, he spent his boyhood in Figueres and at the family's summer
home in the coastal fishing village of Cadaques where his parents
built his first studio. As an adult, he made his home with his wife
Gala in nearby Port Lligat.
The young Dali attended the San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in
Madrid. Early recognition of Dali's talent came with his first one-man
show, held in Barcelona in 1925. He became internationally known
when three of his paintings, including the Basket of Bread (in the
Salvador Dali Online Exhibit) were shown in the third annual Carnegie
International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928.
following year Dali held his first one-man show in Paris. He also
joined the Paris Surrealist Group, led by former Dadaist, Andre
Breton. That year Dali met Gala Eluard when she visited him in Cadaques
with her husband, poet Paul Eluard. She became Dali's lover, muse,
business manager, and chief inspiration.
soon became a leader of the Surrealist Movement. His painting, Persistence
of Memory (1931), is still one of the best known surrealist works.
But, as war approached, the apolitical Dali clashed with the Surrealists
and was expelled from the Surrealist movement during a "trial"
in 1934. He did, however, exhibit works in international surrealist
exhibitions throughout the decade.
1940 Dali was moving into a new style which eventually became known
as his "classic" period, demonstrating a preoccupation
with science and religion.
and Gala escaped from Europe during World War II, spending 1940-48
in the United States. These were very important years for the artist.
The Museum of Modern Art in New York gave Dali his first major retrospective
exibit in 1941. This was followed in 1942 by the publication of
Dali's autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali.