Salvador Dalí was born Salvador Felipe Jacinto Dalí y Domenech in the Catalan town of Figueras, Spain in 1904. In 1921 he enrolled in the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, where he became a friend of Federico García Lorca and Luis Buñuel. His first solo show was held in 1925 at the Galeries Dalmau in Barcelona. In 1926 Dalí was expelled from the Academia and the following year he visited Paris and met Pablo Picasso. He collaborated with Buñuel on the film ‘Un Chien andalou’ in 1928 and at the end of the year he returned to Paris and met Tristan Tzara and Paul Eluard. About this time Dalí produced his first Surrealist publications and illustrated the works of Surrealist writers and poets. His first solo show in the United States took place at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in 1933.
Toward the end of the 1930s Dalí made several trips to Italy to study the art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and in 1940 he fled to the United States, where he worked on theatrical productions, wrote, illustrated books and painted. A major retrospective of his work opened in 1941 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and travelled throughout the United States. In 1942, Dalí published his autobiography and began exhibiting at M. Knoedler and Co. in New York. He returned to Europe in 1948, settling in Port Lligat, Spain and his first paintings with religious subjects date from this period. In 1954 a Dalí retrospective was held at the Palazzo Pallavicini in Rome and in 1964 an important retrospective of his work was shown in Tokyo, Nagoya and Kyoto. He continued painting, writing and illustrating during the 1960s.
The Salvador Dalí Museum in Cleveland was inaugurated in 1971, and the Dalinian Holographic Room opened at M. Knoedler and Co., New York, in 1973. In 1980 a major Dalí retrospective was held at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris, and his work was exhibited at the Tate Gallery, London.
Dalí died on January 23, 1989, in Figueras.