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Salvador Dalí was born in Figueres in Spain in 1904. The premature death of his brother a few months before Dali’s birth, had a deep impact on his life and work. He attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid in 1922, where he was noted for his insubordination and finally expelled in 1926. From an early stage in his career he lectured, wrote and exhibited widely, holding his first dedicated exhibition in 1925 in Barcelona. An exhibition much admired by Picasso.

Known for the wildly vivid imagination of his work as well as consummate technical skill, Dalí is undoubtedly one of the most famous and controversial artists of the 20th century. Primarily a painter, his remarkable body of work also included sculpture, graphic art, design and film.

Phases of Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical painting preceded his joining the Surrealists in 1929, an association which he held for just 10 years but which yielded what is arguably his most celebrated and distinctive work. In 1929 Dali’s also enjoyed the success of a sell out exhibition in Paris, the catalogue prefaced by André Breton. Rigorously academic in his technique, Dalí created what he referred to as “hand-painted dream photographs” – meticulously rendered imagined worlds that explore the subconscious, feature recurring images and often reference the landscape of his childhood in Catalonia. Ambiguous and double images play a pivotal role in his work, where a form can be read as part of a landscape or part of a human body. His talent for self-promotion assured that he was – and remains – the most famous proponent of the Surrealist movement. Following his disassociation from the group in 1939 Dalí moved to America where he was to stay until 1955 before returning to Spain, during which time his work began to shift focus to personal and religious subjects.

Dalí’s work is housed in exceptional museum and private collections around the world, with museums dedicated to his work in his hometown of Figueras as well as St Petersburg.

Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.

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