Salvador Dali Facts
Salvador Dali Facts

32 Surreal Salvador Dali Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published July 1, 2020
  • Salvador Dali's full name is Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domìnech.[3]
  • Salvador Dali believed he was the reincarnation of his older brother, who died nine months before Dali was born. Dali even painted a work titled Portrait of My Dead Brother.[5]
  • Dali sought to study with the Surrealists, but they expelled him from the group for his obsession with Hitler and his pro-fascist views.[5]
  • In 1939, Dali painted the Enigma of Hitler. He remarked, "I often dream of Hitler as a woman. His flesh, which I had imagined as whiter than white, ravish me . . . "[2]
  • Young Salvador Dali
    Salvador Dali did not have an easy childhood
  • Dali's father was very strict, while his mother was the exact opposite. The severity of his father and the deep affection from his mother may have led to Dali's eccentricities later in life.[3]
  • Salvador Dali died at the age of 84 on January 23, 1989.[5]
  • During Dali's time at art school, he was expelled twice: first for leading a student protest and, second, for refusing to take his final exams. He declared to his examiners that he was more intelligent than they were, so it was impossible for them to examine him.[3]
  • The most well-known Dali piece is titled The Persistence of Memory. It is one of the most famous artworks of all time.[5]
  • Dali had a pet ocelot named Babou that he took with him everywhere.[12]
  • Obsessed with money, Salvador Dali agreed to do almost every project that came his way. One of the most famous is his logo design for the lollipop company Chupa Chups.[11]
  • In an effort to save money, Salvador Dali would pay with signed checks, knowing that business owners would not cash them due to his fame.[1]
  • Salvador Dali bought a castle for his wife. She said that he could visit her there on one condition: he had to obtain written permission from her.[6]
  • Dali was a voyeur and enjoyed watching other couples have intimate relations in his presence. He also asked his wife, Gala, to have sex with other men. Throughout her life, she had many extramarital affairs, including with her ex-husband, Paul Eluard.[8]
  • I don't do drugs; I am drugs.

    - Salvador Dali

  • Dali's mother, Felipa Domènech Ferrés, died from uterine cancer when he 16 years old. He noted that it "was the greatest blow that I had experienced in my life." His father later married Felipa's sister.[9]
  • In June 2017, Salvador Dali's body was exhumed for a paternity test. The test proved that the claimant was not his daughter, and she was ordered to pay the costs of the exhumation.[10]
  • Food is a central symbol of sex and beauty in Dali's work. The most common food items were bread, eggs, cheese, and sea urchins.[5]
  • The famous melting watches in Dali's works echo Einstein's theory that time is relative, not fixed. The idea came to Dali when he was contemplating cheese.[5]
  • Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud's theories on sexual repression and psychoanalysis greatly influenced Salvador Dali's work.[5]
  • Surrealism
    Salvador Dali is known for his explorations of subconscious imagery

  • Salvador Dali was deathly afraid of grasshoppers. Some historians believe that he may have suffered from Ekbom's syndrome, a psychiatric disorder that causes patients to believe insects are under their skin.[9]
  • Dali's parents said that Salvador and his deceased brother resembled each other like two drops of water but with different reflections. They even gave Dali and his brother the same first name.[3]
  • According to Dali, at the age of six, he wanted to be a cook. At the age of seven, he wanted to be Napoleon.[3]
  • Dali said that he wet the bed until he was eight for the "sheer fun of it."[3]
  • Dali's moustache was most likely inspired by the Spanish Golden Age painter Diego Velázquez.[3]
  • Salvidor Dali Mustache
    In 2010,  Salvador Dali's mustache was named the most famous mustache of all time

  • After suffering from severe burns in a fire at his home in 1984, Dali was confined to a wheelchair until his death in 1989.[7]
  • Most of Dali's significant work was completed before he was 35.[7]
  • Dali built himself a museum. After he was injured in a fire, he moved into the museum and later died there.[7]
  • While he was born in Spain in 1904, later in life he would travel to Paris in 1929 to study with the Surrealists.[5]
  • One of Dali's favorite paintings was The Lacemaker by the Dutch artists  Jan Vermeer (1632-75).[4]
  • Dali was fascinated by Albert Einstein's theory of time and space, especially his theory of relativity.  Time is not fixed, but it flows and changes according to circumstances.[3]
  • Horrified at the destruction of the Spanish Civil War, Dali painted Autumn Cannibalism. It depicts two monstrous human beings dine off of each other's bodies.[3]
  • Salvador Dali designed the film sets in Alfred Hitchcock (1889-1980) thriller Spelbound  (1945), in which a psychiatrist solves a murder by analyzing her patient's dreams.[3]
  • Even as he grew older, Dali continued to be fascinated by developments in physics, genetics, and the science of the human eye. He believed that sight was something spiritual and almost miraculous.[4]
  • Salvador Dali Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Salvador Dali Infographic

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