Who was Salvador Dalí?

Black and white Surrealist photograph of Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí was one of the best artists of all time. His contribution to the Surrealist art movement was iconic, and it was this (and his creative mind) that brought him great success – and brought us incredible, original artwork that’s still appreciated and admired today.

But who was Salvador Dalí and which cultural movement is Salvador Dalí associated with? We tell all in this article, just read on to find out everything you need to about this monumental artist.

Who was Salvador Dalí?

20th-century painter, Salvador Dalí was known by the masses for his artistic flair. He was more famous than any other painter of this period – particularly in America. Why? Well because what he created was so original. It took hard work for Dalí to get to this point, constantly promoting himself, later known to all as the “master of Surrealism” – all thanks to his drive and creativity.  

When was Salvador Dalí born?

Salvador Dalí was born in 1904, on the 11th of May in Figueras – a small town situated just outside of Barcelona, Spain. Dalí’s interest and journey into the art world began when he attended the Madrid Academy, but was later expelled for encouraging a fellow student to paint a professor that Dalí deemed as a mediocre artist. He later moved to Paris (in 1929) to join the Surrealists, putting his stamp on this newfound art movement.

When did Salvador Dalí die?

In 1989, on the 23rd of January 1989, Salvador Dalí passed away, after fulfilling his dream of becoming one of the most notable artists. He died of cardiac arrest, although he did pass at the ripe age of 84, living many happy years creating and enjoying art. Dalí was then buried in the perfect spot – amongst the crypt below the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which you can visit in his home town of Figueres!

What was Salvador Dalí famous for?

Salvador Dalí was most famous for being a Surrealist painter (and printmaker). Dalí’s ability to explore the subconscious was next-to-none, inventing new forms of art that took the world by storm. Take his notable lobster telephone, which welcomed obscurity in art; it proved transferring art was possible, through his exploration of different objects and surfaces, away from a simple canvas.

Which art movement is Salvador Dalí associated with?                   

Surrealism was the art movement Salvador Dalí was known for; the focus of his work was to portray the beauty of the unconscious – and he did it brilliantly.

Dalí joined the Surrealist movement to subvert the norms of other artists of his time, who didn’t typically depict this human experience. He was fascinated with the unconscious mind and how it makes us feel, and so channelled this interest into his artwork, creating marvellous portrait artwork and striking, obscure paintings as a result.

His Surrealist work

Out of many of the brilliant pieces of art Salvador Dalí brought to the art scene, ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931) is the painting he was most known for, remembered for, and praised for. This masterpiece is a self-portrait design, focusing on the concept of time, and its insignificance in the unconscious world.

This illustration was also the most iconic artwork from the Surrealism movement. And it was this amazing art piece that saw Dalí rise to fame, which was first held at the Julien Levy Gallery back in 1992. Now, you can go and admire this iconic painting in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

But what is Surrealism?

Surrealism is an art movement, where painters began creating art that exposed fantasy, and dream-like imagery. It portrayed bizarre situations and introduced the wonders of our unconscious to the art world. And Salvador Dalí was responsible for this art movement becoming so popular, well-known and widespread.

Who inspired Salvador Dalí?

Salvador Dalí may have painted for a long time, but he continued to be inspired by other artists throughout his life. For instance, Dalí started painting in a more sophisticated, academic style because he was influenced by the popular Renaissance painter, Raphael. 

Austrian neurologist and psychoanalysis founder, Sigmund Freud also influenced Dalí’s artistic journey drastically. Freud might not have been an artist, but after Dalí read his work on the significance of the subconscious, it encouraged his artistic leap into Surrealism, which inspired his later work.

Salvador Dalí’s famous artwork

Creating iconic paintings time and time again came naturally to this artist, but what kind of paintings did Salvador Dalí paint?

These are 10 of Salvador Dalí’s most iconic artworks:

  1. Cabaret Scene (1922)
  2. The Great Masturbator (1929)
  3. The Accommodations of Desire (1929)
  4. L’Age d’Or (1930)
  5. The Persistence of Memory (1931)
  6. Lobster Telephone (1936)
  7. The Burning Giraffe (1937)
  8. The Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee (1944)
  9. Christ of St John of the Cross (1951)
  10. Tuna Fishing (1967)

And these are just 10 out of the many excellent illustrations he brought to the art world while he lived!

How much is a Dalí painting worth?

Because Dalí was such an influential artist, creating such incredible paintings and printworks, his artwork still holds great value. Whether you want to buy large paintings he once created or smaller pieces like his prints and films, you’d still be paying a large sum which veers into the millions. Why? Because the designs and products he produced were so unique and obscure (in a good way).

So how much is a Dali painting worth today? This all depends on the popularity of the piece, but his work ranges from as little as $4 to as much as $21,743,488!

Find out more about famous artists

Now you know everything about this extraordinary artist, you can venture to various museums and even his home town to see examples of his work. And with so many influential artists out there to learn about, you’ll want to discover more articles on the history of some of the greats.

Luckily for you, we’ve written a selection of guides about the best artists out there. Just browse our blog and find out interesting facts about excellent artists from all over the world.