(1904-1989) Spanish painter and designer. In 1929 he joined the Surrealists and became notorious for his flamboyant eccentricity. Influenced by the psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud, he developed a repertoire of striking, hallucinatory images—distorted human figures, limp pocket watches, and burning giraffes—in superbly executed works, which he termed “hand-painted dream photographs”. The Persistence of Memory 1931 (Museum of Modern Art, New York) is typical. By the late 1930s he had developed a more conventional style—this, and his apparent Fascist sympathies, led to his expulsion from the Surrealist movement 1938. It was in this more traditional though still highly inventive and idiosyncratic style that he painted such celebrated religious works as The Crucifixion 1951 (Glasgow Art School). He also painted portraits of his wife Gala.
Dali, born near Barcelona, initially came under the influence of the Italian Futurists. He is credited as co-creator of Luis Buńuel’s Surrealist film Un Chien andalou 1928, but his role is thought to have been subordinate; he abandoned filmmaking after collaborating on the script for Buńuel’s L’Age d’or/The Golden Age 1930. He also designed ballet costumes, scenery, jewelry, and furniture. The books The Secret Life of Salvador Dali 1942 and Diary of a Genius 1966 are autobiographical. He was buried beneath a crystal dome in the museum of his work at Figueras on the Costa Brava, Spain.