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Facts about Salvador Dali

The Artwork of Salvador Dali
The Artwork of Salvador Dali
Paul Marotta/Getty Images

Salvador Dali is arguably the most famous and influential surrealist artist of the 20th century. Born in Spain on May 11, 1904, Salvador Dali showed artistic promise from a young age. He attended drawing school in 1916 and enjoyed his first public exhibition in Spain in 1919. Salvador Dali was an excellent draftsman who could create convincing realistic works. However, he was very imaginative and used his creativity to craft realistic looking work depicting completely unrealistic scenes (such as clocks melting on trees). This cemented his style as a “surreal” artist. His work was so unique and unusual that it gained massive public attention and Salvador Dali earned substantial success and fame even as a very young man. Salvador Dali was also a natural born showman who loved the limelight. He gained as much success for his highly waxed mustache (which gave him an unusual appearance) and grandiose, eccentric, attention-grabbing public antics as he did for his art. Salvador Dali died in Spain on January 23, 1989. He was 84 years old.

Salvador Dali painted in a surrealist style.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Below is a list of facts about Salvador Dali:

• When Salvador Dali was 16 years old his beloved mother died of breast cancer. His father married her sister but Dali felt no ill-will about this because he dearly loved his aunt.

• Salvador Dali used a lot of symbolism in his artwork. For example, melting clocks symbolized the passing of time.

• Dali’s expansive artistic repertoire included painting, sculpture, and photography. He also dabbled in fashion, film, theater and architecture.

• Salvador Dali appeared on television several times in his life. In the late 1950s he appeared as a “mystery guest” on the popular game show “What’s My Line?” He also appeared on “60 Minutes” and “The Tonight Show.”

• Salvador Dali was married once to a woman named Elena Ivanovna Diakonova who was known simply as “Gala.” Their marriage lasted from 1934 until her death in 1982. They had no children.