|Born on May 11th, 1904 in Figueras, Catalonia (Spain), Salvador Dali
commences his studies of graphic arts and painting at the Academy of San
Fernando in 1921. In this period he met the Surrealists grouped around
Luis Bunuel. He was expelled from the academy in 1926 for rebellious and
unsuitable behaviour. In 1927 he travelled for the first time to Paris,
he met Joan Miro, who introduced him to the artistic circle of Surrealists
grouped around André Breton.
In 1934 it came to a break with Breton and the Surrealists and he spent the following years in Italy, where he studied the Renaissance and Baroque periods. He spent 1940 to 1948 in the United Stales together with his Muse, Gala, and became world famous through exhibitions and contributions to films like "Spellbound" by Alfred Hitchcock. In 1948 he returns to Port Ligat in Spain, where he focuses on the classicist. In 1964 Dali was awarded the Grand cross of Isabella, Spain's most important decoration, for his lifetime achievement. In 1973 the Dali Museum opened in his native town Figueres, where he died on January 23rd, 1989. Decisive for understanding the art of Salvador Dali is the way he sees himself "to be Dali" is already art. It is part of the fascination of his work, that he is one of the greatest, but, at the same time, also one of the most controversial artists of this century. His illusionist surrealism has an irresistible effect not only on his friends and followers but also on his critics.