Dalí, Salvador

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Dalí, Salvador

Salvador Dalí (sälväthōr´ dälē´, dä´lē), 1904–89, Spanish painter. At first influenced by futurism, in 1924 Dalí came under the influence of the Italian painter de Chirico and by 1929 he had become a leader of surrealism. His precisely realistic style enhances the obsessively nightmarish effect of many of his paintings. Among his best-known works is Persistence of Memory (1931; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) with its strangely melting clocks. In 1940 Dalí escaped from Nazi-occupied France and emigrated to the United States. He wrote The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí (1942) and also made surrealist ventures in films (e.g., Luis Buñuel's Un Chien andalou, 1928), advertising, and the ballet. A self-proclaimed genius, Dalí was certainly a multitalented artist–a superb draftsman whose wildly inventive imagination has left a strong impression on contemporary culture. However, his publicity-seeking antics, commercialism, and encouragement of art-world trickery that made fake Dalí prints an industry caused some to brand him a charlatan. The Salvador Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Teatre-Museu Dalí, Figueres, Spain, are devoted to his works.

Bibliography

See his diary, ed. by M. Déon (tr. 1965), Diary of a Genius (tr. 1994); C. Maurer, ed., Sebastian's Arrows: Letters and Momentos of Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca (2004); R. Descharnes and G. Neret, Dali: The Paintings (2 vol., 2004); biographies by I. G. De Liano (1984), R. Rom (1985), M. Etherington-Smith (1993), and I. Gibson (1998); studies by C. Lake (1969), H. N. Finkelstein (1996), R. Goff (1998), R. Radford (1998), and E. H. King, ed. (2010).

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