Salvador Dali







        Biography
        L I F E  O F  A  G E N I U S

        A living God or a mere prophet? You decide.

        March 2nd, 2013: Added scans of all 30 cards from the 2004 Dali Prestel Postcard Book. Mainly because as well as the well-known works, there are repros of some really rare Dali lithographs including 'The Ugly Young Duckling', 'Bullfight No.1', 'Don Quixote and Sancho Panza', 'Knightly Combat' and 'Springtime'. Sizes, medium, where the pieces are housed are also included. View all the cards here. Just finished an extensive 'Early Years' section (1904 - 1926) which can be found here. Added a Salvador Dali Facebook Page here

        Salvador Dali (Salvador Domènec Felip Jacint Dalí i Domènech) is considered as the greatest artist of the surrealist art movement and one of the greatest masters of art of the twentieth century. During his lifetime the public got a picture of an eccentric paranoid. His personality caused a lot of controversy. After his death in 1989 his name remained in the headlines. But this time it was not funny at all. The art market was shaken by reports of great numbers of fraudulent Dali prints. What's all behind it?...more.

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        Prodigy Child Without An Exam | Dali & Gala | In The U.S.A. | Classic Period After World War II | Death In His Own Museum
        Biog. II | Biog. German | Biog. French | Dali Prints & Fakes | Latest Updates
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        portrait of salvador dali 1954
        PORTRAIT OF SALVADOR DALI, 1954
        © Estate of Philippe Halsman | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "The only difference between me and a madman is the fact that I am not mad".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        The Prodigy Child without an Exam
        S A L V A D O R  D A L I

        Salvador Dali was born as the son of a prestigious notary in the small town of Figuera in Northern Spain. His talent as an artist showed at an early age and Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dali received his first drawing lessons when he was ten years old. His art teachers were a then well known Spanish impressionist painter, Ramon Pichot and later an art professor at the Municipal Drawing School. In 1923 his father bought his son his first printing press.

        Dali began to study art at the Royal Academy of Art in Madrid. He was expelled twice and never took the final examinations. His opinion was that he was more qualified than those who should have examined him.

        In 1928 Dali went to Paris where he met the Spanish painters Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. He established himself as the principal figure of a group of surrealist artists grouped around Andre Breton, who was something like the theoretical "schoolmaster" of surrealism. Years later Breton turned away from Dali accusing him of support of fascism, excessive self-presentation and financial greediness.

        By 1929 Dali had found his personal style that should make him famous - the world of the unconscious that is recalled during our dreams. The surrealist theory is based on the theories of the psychologist Dr. Sigmund Freud. Recurring images of burning giraffes and melting watches became the artist's surrealist trademarks. His great craftsmanship allowed him to execute his paintings in a nearly photorealistic style. No wonder that the artist was a great admirer of the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael.


        portrait of salvador dali 1954
        SALVADOR DALI
        © Estate of Philippe Halsman | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "The difference between the Surrealists and myself is that I am a Surrealist".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Dali and Gala
        T H E  G O L D E N  U N I O N

        Meeting Gala was the most important event in the artist's life and decisive for his future career. She was a Russian immigrant and ten years older than Dali. When he met her, she was married to the famous French poet, Paul Eluard.

        Gala decided to stay with Dali. She became his companion, his muse, his sexual partner, his model in numerous art works and his business manager. For him she was everything. Most of all Gala was a stabilizing factor in his life. And she managed his success in the 1930s with exhibitions in Europe and the United States.

        Gala was legally divorced from her husband in 1932. In 1934 Dali and Gala were married in a civil ceremony in Paris and in 1958 in church after Gala's former husband had died in 1952.

        However from around 1965 on, the couple was seen less frequently together. But Gala continued to manage Dali's business affairs.


        salvador and gala dali
        SALVADOR DALI & GALI
        © Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "Every morning when I wake up I experience exquisite joy - the joy of being Salvador Dali".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        In the U.S.A.
        D O L L A R S  &  G R E A T N E S S

        In 1933 Salvador Dali had his first one-man show in New York. One year later he visited the U.S. for the first time supported by a loan of US$500 from Pablo Picasso. To evade World War II, Dali chose the U.S.A. as his permanent residence in 1940. He had a series of spectacular exhibitions, among others a great retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

        Besides creating a number of great paintings, Dali caused the attention of the media by playing the role of a surrealist clown. He made a lot of money and was contemptuously nicknamed Avida Dollars (greedy for dollars) by Andre Breton.

        Dali became the darling of the American High Society. Celebrities like Jack Warner or Helena Rubinstein gave him commissions for portraits. His art works became a popular trademark and besides painting he pursued other activities - jewelry and clothing designs for Coco Chanel or film making with Alfred Hitchcock.


        salvador dali
        DALI
        © Robert Descharnes | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        The Classic Period After World War II
        I C O N O G R A P H Y

        In 1948 Dali and Gala returned to Europe, spending most of their time either in their residence in Lligat/Spain or in Paris/France or in New York. Dali developed a lively interest in science, religion and history. He integrated things into his art that he had picked up from popular science magazines. Another source of inspiration were the great classical masters of painting like Raphael, Velasquez or the French painter Ingres. The artist commented his shift in style with the words: "To be a surrealist forever is like spending your life painting nothing but eyes and noses."

        In 1958 the artist began his series of large sized history paintings. He painted one monumental painting every year during the summer months in Lligat. The most famous one, The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, can be seen at the Dali Museum in St.Petersburg in Florida. It is breath-taking. The artist's late art works combine more than ever his perfect and meticulous painting technique with his fantastic and limitless imaginations.


        salvador dali
        THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA BY CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS (1959) - SALVADOR DALI
        © Dali Museum | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

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


        Death in His Own Museum
        W I T H  &  W I T H O U T  G A L A

        Salvador Dali is the only known artist who had two museums dedicated exclusively to his works in his lifetime.

        • The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg in Florida/U.S.A.
        • This art museum was founded in 1971 by the Dali collector A. Reynolds Morse and his wife Eleanor. The collection was first exhibited in a building adjacent to their home in Cleveland/Ohio. In 1982, the museum was moved to St. Petersburg in Florida. It hosts 95 oil paintings including six of Dali's eighteen large-sized historical paintings.

        • Dali Museum-Theater in Figueres, Spain
        • The Museum was the former Municipal Theater of Figueres. In 1918, when Salvador Dali was only fourteen years old, it had shown his first public exhibition.

        From 1970 the artist dedicated his energy to transforming the former Municipal Theater into a museum and art gallery. In 1974 the Theatro Museo Dali was officially opened.

        In 1980 Dali was forced to retire due to palsy, a motor disorder, that caused a permanent trembling and weakness of his hands. He was not able to hold a brush any more. The fact that he could not follow his vocation and passion of painting and the news of Gala's death in 1982 left him with deep depressions.

        After Gala's death he moved to Pubol, a castle, he had bought and decorated for Gala. In 1984, when he was lying in bed, a fire broke out and he suffered sever burns. Two years later, a pacemaker had to be implanted.

        Towards the end of his life, Dali lived in the tower of his own museum where he died on January 23, 1989 from heart failure.

        In 1949 his sister Ana Maria published a book about her brother, Dali As Seen By His Sister describing his youth as very normal and happy. The great surrealist master was furious and outraged and created a painting that can only be called a vulgar revenge against his sister.

        In an interview with a news magazine in July 2000, Robert Descharnes, his long-time secretary, described the artist as a rather normal person.


        salvador dali
        SALVADOR DALI
        © Allan Warren | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "It is good taste, and good taste alone, that possesses the power to sterilize and is always the first handicap to any creative functioning".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Biog. II
        S A L V A D O R  D A L I

        "Every morning when I wake up", said the painter of Soft Watches (later retitled The Persistance of Memory), "I experience exquisite joy - the joy of being Salvador Dali ..."

        The native Catalonian was obsessed with both money and fame; painting and speaking were his main occupations, his favourite subject how to discover one's genius. Not exactly loved by the Surrealists, who criticized him for extravagance and his adiction to money (it was Andre Breton who came up with the anagram "Avida Dollars"), Dali's "paranoiac-critical" method nonetheless provided them with a first-rate instrument to liberate intelligence and imagination from the bonds of memory or dreams.

        Had he been born during the Renaissance, his genius would have met with greater acceptance than was the case in our era, which saw him as a constant source of provocation; he, for his part, described it as "degenerate".

        Dali commented:

        "The only difference between me and a madman is the fact that I am not mad"

        Remarking pithily that:

        "The difference between the Surrealists and myself is that I am a Surrealist."

        Dali decodes the fantasies and symbols of his Surrealist visions, penetrating the depths of the irrational and subconscious, elevating hard and soft to the level of aesthetic principles. He and Gala, his wife and muse, are a mythical couple, she his "existential double", his "perpetuation in immortal memory".

        At the age of three, Dali wanted to become a good cook, aged five Napoleon. Thereafter, he continually aspired to something higher - to be the divine Dali forever ...

        Source: Salvador Dali (postcards) (PostcardBooks)


        salvador dali
        SALVADOR DALI - CHRIST OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS, 1951 (DETAIL)
        © Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Biog. German
        S A L V A D O R  D A L I

        >>Jeden Morgen beim Erwachen<<, schrieb der Maler der Weichen Uhren, >>mache ich die erfeuliche Feststellung: Ich bin Salvador Dali ...<<

        Der geburtige Katalane war versessen auf Geld und Ruhm: Malen und Reden waren seine Hauptbeschaftigung. Dalis Lieblingsthema: Wie entdeckt man sein Genie?

        Von den Surrealisten, die ihm seine Ubertreibungen und seine Habgier vorwarfenm nicht gerade geliebt (von Andre Breton stammt das Anagramm >>Avida Dollars<<), lieferte ihnen Dali dennoch mit seiner Methode der >>kritischen Paranoia<< ein erstklassiges Instrument, aus Erinnerungen oder Traumen Intelligenz und Phantsie sie zu entfesseln.

        Ware er zur Zeit der Renaiisance geboten, hatte sein Genie eine grobere Akzeptanz gefunden als in unserem Zeitalter, das ihn als standige Provokation sah und das er seinerseits als >>degeneriert<< bezeichnete.

        Dali druckte es so aus:

        >>Der einzige Unterschied zwischen einem Verruckten und mir ist der, dab ich nicht verruckt bin.<<

        Und auch folgender Ausspruch ist zutreffend:

        Der einzige Unterschied zwischen den Surrealisten und mir ist der, dab ich Surrealist bin.<<

        Denn Dali entschlusselt die Phantasiegebilde und Symbole seiner surrealistischen Visionen und dringt in die Tiefen des Irrationalen und Unterbewubten vor, wo Wich und Hart zu asthetischen Prinzipien erhoben werden. Er und Gala, seine Frau und Muse, sind ein mystisches Paar. Sie ist das >>Double seiner Existenz<<, sein >>Fortbestehen in der insterblichen Erinnerung<<.

        Im Alter von drei Jahren wollte Dali Koch werden; mit funf Jahren Napoleon. Seitdem strebte er stets nach Hoherem: fur immer der gottliche Dali sein ...

        Source: Salvador Dali (postcards) (PostcardBooks)

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        salvador dali
        SALVADOR DALI - THE EYE OF TIME
        © Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Biog. French
        S A L V A D O R  D A L I

        << Chaque matin au reveil, a ecrit le peintre des Montres molles, j'experimente un plasir supreme: celui d'etre Salvador Dali ... >>

        Catalan assoiffe d'or et de gloire, Dali a beaucoup peint et beaucoup parle. Son sujet favori: comment on devient un genie.

        Mal aime des surrealistes qui lui reprochaient ses outrances et son amour de l'argent (c'est Andre Breton qui a cree l'anagramme d'<< Avida Dollars >>), Dali leur a pourtant apporte, avec sa methode << paranoiaque critique >>, un instrument de tout premier ordre: a partir d'un souvenir ou d'un reve, dechainer son intelligence et ses fantasmes.

        Serait-il ne au temps de la Renaissance que son genie aurait ete plus admissible. Mais a notre epoque, qu'il qualifiait de << cretinisante >>, il etait une provocation permanente.

        Il l'a dit:

        << L'unique difference entre un fou et moi, c'est que moi je ne suis pas fou. >>

        Il a dit aussi, ce qui est tout aussi vrai:

        << La difference entre les surrealistes et moi, c'est que moi je suis surrealiste. >>

        Dali decrypte, en effet, les fantasmes et les symboles de ses vision surreelles. Il plonge dans les profondeurs de l'irrationnel et du subconscient, ou le mou et le dur sont eriges en principles esthetiques.

        Il forme avec Gala, son espouse et son egerie, un couple mythique. Elle est son << double essential >>, sa << persistance de l'immortalite de la memoire >>.

        A trois ans, Dali voulait etre << cuisiniere >>. A cinq ans, Napoleon. Depuis, son ambition n'a cesse de grandir: etre pour toujours le divin Dali ...

        salvador dali
        SALVADOR DALI - RUBY LIPS
        © Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali


          "The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Dali Prints
        K N O W L E D G E

        Dali prints were created in different techniques: mostly etchings, but also engravings, woodcuts, lithographs and mixed-media. His graphic works were published either as individual sheets or as complete series or as portfolios or as illustrations in limited-edition books.

        Information about Dali prints and other works have been collected for over forty years by Alfred Field, director of Dali Archives Ltd, New York, with the approval of the artist. In 1994, Alfred Field published The Official Catalog of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali.

        The catalog raisonne lists 1700 genuine and authentic graphic works. Albert Field groups them into original and cooperative prints. He defines original prints as those created by Salvador himself and cooperative prints as those supervised and approved by Dali.


        The Great Dali Art Fraud

        Until 1980 Dali prints sold extremely well. When the source of new prints dried up due to the artist's involuntary retirement, the fakes showed up on the market. In 1992 Lee Catterall published his book The Great Dali Fraud & Other Deceptions. Consequently several art publishers and dealers and a former secretary of the artist were arrested and convicted.

        Bogus Dali prints were produced in different variations:

        • new print images that the artist had never made
        • prints "after" Dali paintings or drawings sold as originals
        • extended editions with forged signatures
        • restrikes or facsimiles with forged signatures
        • fake copies of real prints

        For some editions, the publishers were allowed by contract with Dali to produce an extended edition. These extended editions were clearly differentiated from the first limited edition by a signature in the plate (sometimes in reverse and within the image). According to A. Field, Dali never signed unlimited editions.

        The great master had caused some of the confusion himself by signing blank sheets on some occasions in order not to delay a publication due to his frequent shuttling between New York, Paris and Spain. Reports that Dali had signed between 40,000 and 350,000 blank sheets are rejected by A.Field as false rumors - spread intentionally by fraudulent publishers to cover up the fake signatures.

        Fortunately the two paper mills that manufactured nearly all of the papers used for Dali prints, changed their watermark signs in 1980 by adding an infinity symbol. Thus most fakes can be identified quite easily. Prints that bear the Rives or Arches watermark with the infinity sign and have Dali's signatures, are fakes. Dali did not sign any prints after 1980.

        Fake Dali prints continue to circulate in the art market. Many are now offered on the Internet. In August 2004, a major centenary of his birth exhibition was held in Helsinki, Finland and many of the prints were up for sale. Buyers couldn't get enough of the prints until it turned out that nearly everything in that exhibition was a fake.


        How can an art buyer protect himself against such fraud?

        Collecting Dali Prints

        Simply trusting established art galleries or auction houses is nice, but it is an insufficient protection. Incompetent or/and fraudulent art dealers can be found in crummy basement shops as well as in posh galleries and auction rooms.

        Art professionals use reference books, called catalog raisonne, to identify the authenticity of an art work. For Dali prints two such reference books are available:

        Before you buy a Dali print, ask the seller for a copy from at least one of these two reference catalogs. As a serious art collector you should consider buying one for yourself (for more details on the Ralf Michler book click on the book cover).

        Salvador Dali: The Catalogue Raisonne of Etchings and Mixed-Media Prints, 1924-1980 by Salvador Dali, Lutz W. Lopsinger (Editor), Ralf Michler (Editor), Charles Salvador Dali Sahli Book

        The Dali prints market has taken great damage from the countless press reports about fraud and forgeries. Prices are on a level that make original prints affordable - even for prices below US$1,000. Equipped with the necessary information, some caution and common sense you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud. After having made sure that it is authentic, ask yourself one question: "Do I like this print and is it worth the price?" Take one day to think about it, and then make your decision.


        salvador dali
        SALVADOR DALI WITH OCELOT AND CANE
        © Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection | Enlarge Image


          Salvador Dali

          "The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents".
          - SALVADOR DALI


        Latest Updates
        A U G U S T  1 4

        [] added mega rare salvador dali - dali paintings biggest book on dali ever! see here for yourself

        Salvador Dali Winged Swan Ballet Sculpture

        [] added salvador dali winged swan ballet sculpture, only 1 in stock - more scans than anywhere in the universe!

        [] march 2nd, 2013: added scans of all 30 cards from the 2004 dali prestel postcard book. mainly because as well as the well-known works, there are repros of some really rare dali lithographs including the ugly young duckling, bullfight no.1, don quixote and sancho panza, knightly combat and springtime. view all the cards here.

        [] march 2nd, 2013: just finished an extensive 'early years' section (1904 - 1926) which can be found here.

        Salvador Dali Essential Dali Book

        [] added salvador dali essential dali book, only 1 in stock - more scans than anywhere in the universe!

        Salvador Dali Official Artist Case With Paints & Pencils

        [] added salvador dali official artist's case with paint & pencils, only 1 in stock!

        Dalis World: The Treasures of Dali Hardcover Book

        [] added salvador dali dali's world, best dali book ever ... see and view why

        [] added mega rare salvador dali - dali in new york dvd review

        [] added the fantastic dali sculptures from the parastone mouseion collection to dali shop

        salvador dali

        [] added attributed to Dali profession ltd edn prints to shop. each on sell for $ 19.99 incl postage

        [] added dali cards to shop, many with details of the painting and how it came about. notecards £1.99 each; postcards £0.99p each

        [] added salvador dali shop to site. all items from the site shipped from the uk.

        [] added to gallery

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