Salvador Dali Prints

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Salvador Dali paintings (Spanish, 1904-1989) are filled with images beautiful and disturbing, joyous and haunting. Although kicked out of the actual Surrealistic movement in the mid '30s for unpopular political beliefs and a flirtation with traditional painting styles, his world-wide reputation was not affected. Though he was not affiliated with the movement officially for over 50 years, Salvador Dali still has name recognition as a leading Surrealist.

In art school, the young Dali quickly learned a vast number of artistic styles and displayed unusual technical facility as a painter. In the late 1920s he discovered the writings of Sigmund Freud on the significance of subconscious imagery. Soon after, he affiliated himself with the Paris Surrealists--who sought to establish that the subconscious, not reason, was the "greater reality".

Salvador Dali Paintings: Welcome to My Nightmare

Around 1929, Dali began to self-induce hallucinatory states in order to bring up images from his subconscious mind. As a result, his painting style matured with extraordinary rapidity. His work from 1929 to 1937 made him the best-known Surrealist artist in the world.

Dali's paintings explore themes of spirituality, eroticism, and politics as found in nightmares. They depict a dream world in which commonplace objects are deformed, or otherwise illogically presented. He portrays these objects in meticulous, realistic detail, and places them in bleak, brightly sunlit landscapes. Probably the most famous of these enigmatic images are the limp, melting watches set in the eerily calm, bleached-bone landscape in "The Persistence of Memory."

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