Salvador Dali is a Spanish painter most famous for being part of the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century. He was born in Figures in northern Spain in 1904. Dali had a brother who died when he was just 2. Dali's father took him to his brother's grave when he was just five and told him that he was his brother's reincarnation. A story that the young Dali started to believe. Dali went to drawing school in 1916 and his father arranged exhibitions of his charcoal drawings by 1919.
Dali's association with the Surrealist movement was a rocky one. He was often criticised for his love of attention and commercial desires. It was noted by his Surrealist colleagues that his name is an anagram of 'avida dollars'.
Nevertheless, Dali is probably the most famous Surrealist and certainly the most eccentric. His childhood memories of fantasisiing about a washer woman with melons on crutches, the time when he bit into a dead bat seething with ants devouring the flesh and eating a bowl of cherries at his friend's bedisde after he had fallen from some rocks are all examples of symbols used in his painting.
Furthermore, the double imagery is omnipresent in his work - often fusing two or more images together with skill and illusion.
Gala appears in many of Dali's paintings. She was his loving lifelong wife and they were married in 1934
Dali's museum is in his birthtown of Figures and was started while he was alive. It is a massive building of his work that takes a day or more to get around in full.
There are many interactive pieces in this museum, far from being a stale gallery of paintings, Dali liked to make his work immersive.
Dali died on January 23rd, 1989 in his hometown of Figures. He died of heart failure.