5 Things You Didn't Know About Salvador Dalí

By: Clare Whitaker

Born in Spain, artist Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) is known for his famous painting of the Melting Clocks. Although he excelled in many art forms, his legacy lasts in his pursuit of surrealism. Surrealism attempts to capture the subconscious or dream-like state in an art form. He had an uncanny ability to translate his dreams into artwork or as he put it, “hand painted dream photographs.” Dalí was dismissed by many as absolutely insane and enjoyed playing the role.

  1. Pablo Picasso loaned Dalí the $500 he needed to make his first trip to New York in 1934. The two were friends for most of their life. 
  2. Dalí was extremely afraid of grasshoppers. 
  3. His name, Salvador, was given to his older brother who died as an infant. His parents informed him that he was a reincarnation of his dead sibling, born exactly 9 months after his brother’s death. This caused him to suffer from identity crisis throughout his life. 
  4. He worked with famous faces in the film and fashion industries including: Walt Disney, Alfred Hitchcook, and Elsa Schiaparelli. 
  5. In his will, Dalí left his entire fortune and his works to the Spanish state. Despite many legal battles from Dalí’s family and the Spanish government; the state retained custody.

(photo: Salvador Dalí, 1939 by Carl Van Vechten via Library of Congress)