Salvador Dali was born on the 11th Mai in 1904 in the town Fiqueras in Spain. His father was a notary from Cadaques. Originaly the name Salvador was given
to his elder brother, who died three years before Dali his birth. Till his siter Ana Maria was born, Salvador was only child. For Dali this meant
he could do everything he wanted, he got completely spoiled.
Every day he went to the local school of Fiqueras, where he later on also visited the academy. At the academy he studied the secrets of the light and the dark of the masters of the Renaissance. When Dali was seven years old, he wanted to be Napoleon. During that period he also discovered Cadaques and it's beautiful bay. This encounter was the beginning of his lifelong love for Cadaques. The strange coloured rocks and the deserted beaches have become the subject for many of Dali's studies.
Salvador Dali dedicated himself with passion to painting. He discovered the Impressionism and painted his canvas with luxuriant coulours. But most of all he was trying to create his image. He wanted to be an immediate recognizable person. Therefor he had long hair and whiskers and he was waring a long cape with a colourfull bow-tie. He grew his moustache with curls on both sides. It was as if he knew he was going to be a personality as well as an artist. From early on Dali dealt with megalomania an extraordinary imagination.
After Dali's first exhibition, in Fiqueras, wich was a great succes, Dali his father decided to send him to The Academy of Art in Madrid. At the academy he came, for the first time in his life, in touch with a complete different life-style than the one he was used to in the province. Salvador was puzzeled at first, but soon he became delighted. He met many new people and made many new friends. One of his new friends was Luis Brunel. Luis Brunel played an active role in the Spanisch was constantly fighting against the religion and the society. He tried to shock the people with the books he wrote and the films he made. Together with Dali he made the films 'Chien Andalou' and 'L'Age d'Or'. Both of the films brought about quite a scandal.
In Catalunia it realy got out of hand. Up till two times the police wrongly accused Dali initiating the political fights. Twice they suspended him from the acadamy and he even had to go to prison. Nevertheless Dali kept on painting. He met some cubistic painters and studied the Cubism. But soon he switched from Cubism to Surrealism, wich finally fitted his ideas.
In 1927 Dali went to Paris, something he had been looking forward to for a long time. He visited Pablo Picasso. Picasso and Dali understoud each other without words. There eyes and movements said enough. Juan Miro, another surrealistic painter, introduced Dali to the surrealists in Paris. In 1929, soon after the introduction, Dali joined them. During this period, Dali met many surrealistic artists, from painters to architects and poets. He also met his future wife Gala. Gala modeled a lot for Dali's paintings and she has been the subject and inspiration for many of his paintings.
Soon after Dali went back to Spain, he told himself he wanted to be crazy and started acting like he was. All of this, just because he fell head over heal in love with Gala. Fortunatly Gala came to Cadaques and she knew how to handle the crazy in love being Dali. End of 1929 they got married and the never left each other again. They settled down in Port-Lligat and Dali dedicated himself again to his work. He created the weak watches and gave many lectures. Most of his lectures ended with trouble and in 1933 he even was involved in the Catalunion rebellion.
Dali's political statements as well as his admiration for Hitler and his monarchistic symphaties caused in 1934 a break between Dali and the other surrealists. The publication of Dali's painting 'The mystery of Wilhelm Tell' made this break even worse. This painting shows Lenin without pants, with a large extended tail-bone.
Soon after his break with the surrealists, Dali went to the United States. Here he finally encountered the perfect enviroment to explore his exhibitionistic sides. A large exhibition was held in New Yorkand America loved him. On the first day of the exhibition Dali sold all of the paintings. Dali got so many new requests that is was impossible for him to fullfil them all. He ended up overworked and depressed.
In 1936 this crisis reached its top. The war in Spain started soon followed by the First World War. Dali, who was painting violant, depressed paintings with the war as his subject, had to flee with Gala to America. Just as they arrived, a review of Dali's work was exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The crisis ended and they stayed in New York till 1948.
In 1948 Dali and Gala moved back to Port-Lligat near Cadaqeus in Spain. To stop the building projects nearby, this whole area was declared as National Monument for the society. It had to remain as it was and nobody was allowed to change it. Finally Dali could take control over his own life again. He became interested in religion, visited the Pope and converted to the Classicism. His chaotic life became structured and carefully organized. Dali devided his time between Port-Lligat, Paris and New-York. Dali worked when he was home and played the clown in Paris and New-York. But whatever he did, he always tried to involve current political affairs into his work and lectures.
While different styles and Art movements became mixed or dissapeared completely, Dali kept his own style. He knew he had to fight with his work against the future. To bring his fight to a positive end he continualy looked for new wapens with his painting as well as with his playing the clown for the world. Only by constant renewal he was able to keep shocking the world and to keep people listening.
In 1973 his own Museum was opened in his city of birth, Fiqueras. Many studies, paintings and other creations are exhibited. The year 1982 was the worsed of his life. It was the year his wife Gala died and without her his life didn't make sense anymore. He didn't feel like living any longer. Even when he got the title of 'Marquis of Pubol' nothing changed. In his final years Dali lived alone and lived a quite, retreated life in the Pubol castle. Salvador Dali died in 1989 in the hospital of Fiqueras.