Salvador Dali was a Spanish artist. He was born on 11 may 1904 and he died on 23 January 1989. He was brought up in a middle class home and his father was very strict, and his mother encouraged his paintings. He went to drawing school and later his father organised an exhibition of his son’s charcoal drawings in their home.
He first went through the Cubism, Futurism and Metaphysical art movements. He joined the Surrealists in 1929, and he became the most famous representative of the movement. He had already been influencing them for over two years and the praised him for his paranoiac-critical method of accessing the subconscious. He finished his painting the Persistence of Memory in 1931. Salvador explained the surrealists by saying: “There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad.”
He married Gala, whose real name was Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, in 1934. At first his father did not approve of her. Gala became Salvador Dali’s business manager. Salvador always wanted fame and money, and some of the surrealists started speaking about him in the past tense, as if he was dead.
Max Ernst was an artist born in a middle class family on 2 April in 1891, near Cologne in Germany. He learnt how to paint from his father, who was a teacher who was interested in painting academically. Max Ernst learnt how to paint from his father and from himself, so he taught himself a lot of what he was doing and made up his own techniques because he never got any formal education in painting.
He went to the University of Bonn and he studied philosophy and psychology. When he finished he went to fight for Germany in World War One. The war impacted on his painting and he painted a lot of apocalyptic scenes. He went to Paris in 1922 and he stayed there for 19 years. He became one of the founding members of surrealism and he influenced surrealism. He developed the technique of frottage, which was rubbing on a piece of paper with a pencil to get the texture underneath. He moved to America during World War Two and he came back to Paris in 1953 with his fourth wife where he worked until he died in 1976.
© copyright Sebastian Schultz 2012