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Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
Docent's Tour

Salvador Dali Museum





Safe Haven

Dali Virtual Museum of Art

Last Supper (Ellen)


Lee (Korea)

M. Jara

Salvador Dali Archives

Lynn's Daliarchives

FTP listing from SUNSET

Dali on the WWW

Postershop (commercial)

Daligallery (commercial)

ART411 (commercial)

Galleria Narthex (this may be for limited time)

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Philadelphia Museum of Art

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Dali's early life was marked by ominous signs:
he slashed his nurse with a safety pin
he pushed a small playmate off a bridge
he threw himself down a stone staircase to impress friends

This precocious artist had his first public exhibit at age 14.

"If you play at genius, you become one."
"I was destined, as my name indicates, for nothing less than to rescue painting from the void of modern art."

He was expelled twice from the art academy in Madrid. (He refused to take exams from "intellectually inferior" professors. When instructed to copy a statue of Mary, he illustrated a pair of scales: "Perhaps you see a Virgin like everyone else, but I see a pair of scales.")

Dali married Gala in 1929.

The period from 1929 to 1939 was his most productive. He created his finest works, including The Persistence of Memory, during this time.

1934 - Dali became internationally famous.

1934 - Dali was placed on "trial" by Andre Breton.

Breton called for a "trial" when Dali produced two paintings of Hitler. Dali attended with a thermometer in his mouth. Dali argued that a Surrealist was not at liberty to censor the subconscious, even when a person was dreaming about Hitler. There is disagreement as to whether Dali was expelled from the movement. (Dali also gave at least verbal support of Franco during the Spanish Civil War.)

1936 - He was on the cover of TIME Magazine.

1936 - Dali lectured at International Exhibition of Surrealism. (His speech "Unconsciousness in a Diving Suit" almost ended in tragedy when air couldn't enter the diving suit he was wearing and he almost died before someone realized that his frantic motions were not part of the demonstration.)

1939 - He had his own exhibit at New York World's Fair. (This same year he designed display windows for a New York store. When he discovered that someone had altered the arrangement, he jumped into window to correct it. He tipped a bathtub that crashed through the glass. He jumped out and walked down the street.)

1940 - Dali moved to U.S.

He produced films, created hats, clothes and ballet sets and costumes; he designed sets for Alfred Hitchcock.

Like all Surrealists, Dali was fascinated with insanity. ("The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.") His "paranoiac-critical" technique resulted in multiple-image works.

Dali was the master of self promotion.

He didn't supervise the production of limited edition prints; there may have been $625 million in unauthorized prints

Between 1964 and 1979 he signed as many as 350,000 blank sheets of paper.

To complicate the authentication of his works, there are 678 different examples of genuine signatures.

Gala died in 1982. His spirits lifted with the attention given to him at his 80th birthday (1984) but was burned a few weeks later when an electrical circuit in his bedroom shorted.

key2.gif (90 bytes) "Drooping Dali"