Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Megan. Megan Wonders, “Who is Salvador Dali ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Megan!

How would the real world be different if it looked like your dreams? Would it be in black and white instead of color? Would it be full of wacky animals? Maybe humans would fly or breathe underwater!

Many people find inspiration in their dreams. One such person was Salvador Dalí, a Spanish painter. For Dalí, art was a way to turn his dreams into reality.

Dalí was born in Figueres, Spain on May 11, 1904. During his lifetime, he was known for his unique personality as much as for his art. He was both eccentric and unpredictable. Many people also thought Dalí was arrogant. For example, he once claimed to be too knowledgeable to be tested by any of his professors. As a result, the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts expelled him.

After leaving school, Dalí turned to great artists of the time for education. One he was most interested in learning from was Pablo Picasso. Dalí first met Picasso in 1926 and was deeply influenced by the artist’s work. He also learned from artists Joan Miró and René Magritte.

Dalí was part of an art movement called Surrealism, which blended the worlds of dream and reality. Surrealists saw art as a way to explore their own unconscious minds. One theme in Dalí’s art is time. One of his most famous works, "The Persistence of Memory”, is a landscape full of melting pocket watches. It’s thought to represent the idea that time is flexible.

Other Dalí paintings also feature distorted objects and animals. Many would say he met his goal of capturing dreamlike scenes in his art. However, Dalí was just as well-known for his appearance and personality as for his art. He grew a very long handlebar mustache and wore clothing many called odd. In one case, he gave a speech while wearing a wetsuit, carrying a pool stick, and holding two dogs on a leash. Can you picture that?

In 1934, Dalí married Elena Diakonova, who was also called Gala. The same year, he was expelled from the Surrealist movement. Many of the other artists had growing concerns over his political views. 

Still, Dalí continued to make art and attend Surrealist art shows. Over the course of his life, he produced over 1,500 works of art. In 1989, Dalí died at the age of 84 from heart failure.

Today, Dalí’s art is displayed all over the world. He’s remembered as one of the greatest Surrealist artists. Would you like to see a Salvador Dalí painting in person one day? Or would you rather give Surrealism a try yourself? How might your dreams look in a painting or other type of art? 

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, NCAS.A.1, NCAS.A.2, NCAS.A.3, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, NCAS.A.7, NCAS.A.8

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is so great, you’ll have to read it to BEElieve it!