Salvador Dali was one of the most outstanding artists of the XX century. Dali made a great contribution to painting, sculpture, graphic and design. During his career and personal development, he had passed through phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting and he joined the Surrealists in 1929.Dali was born in 1904 in Figueres, Spain. As a child, he studied art with Ramon Pichot, an Impressionist who had once worked with Pablo Picasso. Dali belonged to a middle-class family of Don Salvador Dali. His childhood, Dali spent in Catalonia, in northeast of Spain. The talent for painting Dali showed in early age. When he was 4-years old, Dali tried to draw with surprising diligence for a small child. At 6 Dali was impressed by the image of Napoleon and as though identified himself with Napoleon. Salvador Dali drew the first picture at the age of 10 (Dali, Ades D. 2000). It was a small impressionistic landscape on a wooden board by oil paints. The talent of the genius was torn outside. The whole day he stayed in the small room drawing. Dali took lessons from professor Zhoana Nunjesa (Juan Nuñez). Already in 14 years, it was evident that Dali has extraordinary talent to drawing. Dali describes his experience: “In twenty five years I wanted to become the most sensational artist in the world, and I became prominent” (Dali, Chevalier, 1993). He searched for sense outside rational perception, and searched for an output in intuitive, subconscious sphere.When he was 15 years old, Dali was expelled from monastic school for indecent behavior. But he passed all examinations successfully and entered the Institute. He finished it with brilliant results in 1921. In 1921, Dalí entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid; during his years of study, he admired nineteenth-century painters such as Jean Millet and Arnold Bocklin, as well as the modern work of Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. Dalí discovered Sigmund Freud, whose influential writings on dreams and the unconscious helped explain to him some of the mental torments that he had suffered since childhood. In 16 years, Dali began to note his thoughts. From this very moment painting and literature became an integral part of his creative life. In self-made edition “Studium” he publishes articles about well known artists (Dali, Ades 2000).At the beginning of 20th Dali admired works of futurists, but nevertheless he was full of desire to create his own style in painting. At this time new friends appeared. Among them there were such outstanding and talented people as poet Federiko Garcia Lorca and Luis Bu?uel. In Madrid the extravagant artist amazed and shocked public. It resulted in indescribable delight. In 1923 Dali was grasped by creations of the great genius of cubism Pablo Picasso. In his work “Young girls” (1923) is possible to notice influence of cubism. In 1925 from 14 till 27 November, the first personal exhibition was organized in gallery Dalmau. At this exhibition there were 27 pictures and 5 drawings exhibited. In 1926 Dali was expelled from Academy of painting accused as a free-thinker. In the same time Salvador Dali went to Paris, trying to find there something pleasant. During the same period, he made friends with Garcia Lorca. Between 1925 and 1927, Dalí experimented with Cubism, Neoclassicism and Realism. In 1928, Dalí achieved international renown when three of his paintings were included in the third annual Carnegie International exhibition (Mical, 2004).The three periods are distinguished in the Dali’s life. The first period – till 1928 was time of children’s impressions, studies, acquaintances to classical art and to the major art directions; the second period lasted for 10 years, (1928 to 1947) was the period of program surrealistic creativity; the third period since 1948 after returning to Spain was the period of manipulation, the period of classical heritage, art and religious, creation of religious series of works. Dali distinguished five stages in his work: Dali-Planetary, Dali-Molecular, Dali – Monarchic, Dali – Hallucinogen, Dali – Futirity. Dali did not include the time till 1927 into these periods (Descharnes, Neret 2001).Private life of Dali had no bright moments till 1929, but in 1929 Dali fell in love with the real woman- Elena Djakonova or Gala. In 1930 his paintings brought popularity to Dali (“Blurred time”). The main themes of his works were destruction, decay, death, and the world of sexual experiences of the person (influence by books of Z. Freud). A conflict with surrealists was stirred up at the beginning of 1930s (Dali, Chevalier 1993). His admiration of Adolph Hitler and monarchic power disagreed with Breton’s ideas. Dali broke off with surrealists who accused him in counterrevolutionary activity.In 1929, Dalí made a film with Luis Buñuel called ‘Un Chien Andalou’ an intentionally disturbing film that portrayed dreamlike conditions. The reputation achieved by that film led to Dalí’s association with André Breton and the French Surrealists. At that time, Dalí formulated the theoretical basis for his work, calling it “paranoiac-critical.” Drawing on the theories of Jaques Lacan and Freud, Dalí, a virtuoso draftsman, produced paintings that were fantastic and dreamlike executed in a realistic style. ‘Illumined Pleasures’ (1929) reflects the influence of de Chirico and Yves Tanguy but contrasts with them in its portrayal of pervasive violence. ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931) uses an intricately detailed technique reminiscent of fifteenth-century Flemish art; its limp watches have become synonymous with Surrealist imagery.Partly because of Dalí‘s lack of sincere political commitment, he was expelled from the Surrealist group in 1934. In the late 1930s, Dalí moved away from Surrealism and toward Renaissance classicism. In 1940, he moved to the United States, where he became a familiar figure in post–World War II America. He continued to turn out an impressive number of paintings. He also contributed to films by A. Hitchcock and created designs for the theater, periodicals, jewelry, and advertisements (Descharnes, Neret 2001).Gala, his wife, was depicted in many paintings as well as on the painting “La Madonna” (she is dressed as the traditional Renaissance Madonna). The dual image techniques of Dali are used in this fragment: the dying bull is a part of a raincoat of a matador, an eye of the bull is a fly image of which repeated on a suit of a matador. Flies and points remind scattering particles that represents Dali’s understanding of physics and nature. Dali returned to Spain in 1948. His paintings after 1950 showed an increasing concern with Roman Catholicism (‘The Last Supper’, 1955). From the late 1940s through the 1970s, American art critics consistently promoted abstract art as the standard of ‘high’ art and the culminating style of the Modernist movement. “Dali’s widely promoted tastes were clearly an influence on well-known eccentric homes like those of the collector Edward James, as well as on the style of other mass-market showcases such as fashion magazines and the cinema” (Mical 2004, 20). In 1974 he founded the Teatre-Museo Dali in Figueres, Spain, as a museum for his works; he taught classes there until late in his life. Salvador Dali passed away in 1989 and was buried in his museum.I suppose that Dali was extraordinary artist and unique personality who created paintings and images impressed millions of viewers around the world. His bright and fantastic images leave nobody indifferent or apathetic. For instance, the works of 1950s showed the sights at mysticism and science. He made some sketches of a decaying head of Raphael, which looked as the Pantheon in Rome. His constant researches of a new direction of explosive pictures – reached its point in “Galatea” (1952) where Gala’s head consists of rotating spheres. During this period Dali was keen on new ideas of the theory of relativity which pushed him to return to “The Persistence of memory” (1931). Throughout his life, Dali’s painting was inseparable from his colorful personal style. To many it appeared that his paintings did not spring from his unconscious but were carefully constructed fictions. Some critics state that Dali lacked sincerity and commitment to the movement (Mical, 2004), but Dali’s technically impressive surreal images have had a profound effect on American culture. Much of the popular art associated with the psychedelic 1960s was rooted in the style of Dali.
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