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Salvador Dalí was one of the greatest Spanish painters of all time, and one of the most important figures in the history of the modern art movement. Both Dalí's extraordinary talent and odd personality helped him to rise above the rest of the twentieth century surrealists.

History and Background

At the age of ten, Dalí was already learning to paint under prestigious teachers in renowned art schools. Much of Dalí's work and life was affected by his personality which was regarded as paranoid on one hand, but arrogant and greedy on the other. This was clearly evident upon his second expulsion from the Royal Academy of Art in Madrid, caused by his own assertion that he held greater knowledge of his subject than those who taught him. As a result, he never took his final examinations, yet his achievements show that this was hardly a hindrance to his career in art.

Ideas and Inspirations

Dalí's art drew from his everyday life and extracted seemingly arbitrary things such as infinite desert plains, marble statues, bicycles or telephones and used them as icons, where through their isolation they became symbols for deeper emotional themes. Dalí explored his own fears and fantasies through these main symbolic images captured on canvas.