Born in Figueres, Spain, in 1904, Dalí was born into a prosperous Catalan family that soon divided its time between Figueres and the coastal village of Cadaqués. Dalí attended a prominent art academy in Madrid. From his earliest years as an artist he exhibited his work widely, lectured and wrote. In 1929 he joined the Surrealist Movement, becoming its most visible and controversial member. That year, Dalí met Gala Éluard when she visited him with her husband, poet Paul Éluard. Subsequently, Gala became Dalí's wife, his muse, primary model and lifelong obsession.
Dalí broke with the Surrealist Movement in 1939. He and Gala fled Europe in 1940 and spent the war years in the United States where he revisited his strategy towards art, rejecting modernism and connecting with other artistic traditions. In 1948, Dalí and Gala returned to Spain and thereafter divided their time between Europe and the United States. In 1974, Dalí organized a museum of his own collection of art, the Teatro-Museo Dalí in Figueres. After the death of Gala in 1982, Dalí's health declined. His final years were spent in seclusion at his museum. Salvador Dalí died on January 23, 1989 in the city of his birth.
Dalí is one of the most celebrated artists of all time. His fiercely technical yet highly unusual paintings, sculptures and visionary explorations in film and life-size interactive art ushered in a new generation of imaginative expression. From his personal life to his professional endeavors, he always took great risks and proved how rich the world can be when you dare to embrace pure, boundless creativity.