Salvador Dalí

Which Spanish artist created the famous painting entitled "The Persistence of Memory?"

And the answer: Salvador Dalí.      

Created in 1931, the painting depicts a barren landscape, with a clock melting on a tree limb, and two more clocks melting off other surfaces. It's a good example of Surrealism, the early 20th century literary and art movement that explores the inner workings of the mind.

The Persistence of Memory, by Salvador Dalí. Courtesy:

With one of the most referenced images in the modern canon, Dalí's "The Persistence of Memory" perhaps encapsulates the Surrealist movement better than any else. Born in 1904 to a middle class family, Dalí began painting early in life, showing a considerable command of the Impressionist style. In his youth, Dalí had a rocky relationship with his father, who operated on virtues of stringent discipline despite his unrequited support of Dalí's artistic pursuits. Ultimately, it was Dalí's divergence from tradition and controversial art that drove he and his father apart.

Photo credit: Philippe Halsman.

Dalí painted some of the first Cubist works in Madrid during his collegiate career, beginning with the geometric "Cabaret Scene." However, Dalí accused his professors of being unqualified to judge him, and dropped out of college in 1926. By this time, Dalí had already cultivated his eccentric image as an artist, and existed as living proof of the motto that you can get away with oddities if your work is good.

Heavily influenced by Freud, Dalí went on to explore the subconscious in his works. He placed common objects (like clocks, for instance) within a dreamlike landscape to manipulate the viewer's firm grip on reality and gesture to the disconnect between perception and reality. With this technique, Dalí became a renowned Surrealist painter with technical ability and quirk to spare.

Learn more about Dalí below.

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