Salvador Dali (1904 – 1989) was a prominent Spanish surrealist artist born in Figueres, Spain. From an early age, Dali was encouraged to practice his art and would eventually go on to study at an academy in Madrid.
In the 1920s, he went to Paris and began interacting with artists such as Picasso, Magritte and Miro, which led to Dali’s first Surrealist phase. The rise of fascist leader Francisco Franco in Spain led to the artist’s expulsion from the Surrealist movement, but that didn’t stop him from painting.
Dali was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, showing melting clocks in a landscape setting, was completed in August 1931. Dali’s extensive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.
Dali was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics.