Salvador Dali is perhaps the best known artist from the surrealist art scene, but he is not just a surrealist; his works have covered many different styles from impressionism to his own take on the classical style, and all reflect his mastery of the medium.
Dali was raised in the small farming community of Figueras, Catalogna, Spain, a place which inspired many of the landscapes found in his oeuvre. Since he was the son of a wealthy notary, Dali also had the luxury of spending time at his family’s summer home, working in a studio his parents had built for him. Later, he attended the prestigious San Fernando Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid, where he further honed his already impressive skills, albeit in a climate of conflict, brought on by creative differences with his teachers.
His first solo exhibition took place in Barcelona in 1925. Three of his paintings were later shown in America, at the third annual Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh in 1928, bringing him international acclaim at the age of 24.
Perhaps the most important and influential figure in Salvador Dali’s life was Gala. The pair had met in 1929, at Dali’s Cadaques residence, where she and her then husband, poet Paul Eluard were visiting the artist. Gala soon became Dali’s mistress, and later, she became his wife, muse, and reason for living; she figures prominently in many of Dali’s most inspired works.