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Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was an outstanding figure of the Surrealist group of Andre Breton. He traveled and worked in Spain, France and the United States. He was one of the most brilliantly provocative artists of the twentieth century, not only in his public life, but also in his paintings and in the field of printmaking. A native of Catalonia, Dali studied at the Madrid Academy where he emulated painters from Vermeer to de Chirico and explored the more avant garde styles of Impressionism to Cubism. Greatly influenced by the writing of Freud, Dali moved toward an "art of the unconscious" which inspired his "metaphysical paintings". His first one-man show was held at the Dalmau gallery in Barcelona in 1925.
In 1928 he moved to Paris (by taxi according to lore) and continued to write, paint and illustrate books. Dali has come to symbolize Surrealism and his name is one of the most recognized in the world. Major book projects include "Les Chants de Maldoror," 1934, "Don Quichotte de la Manche," 1957; "Alchimie des philosophes," 1976 and "L'Art d'Aimer," 1979. Dali's friendship with the publisher Pierre Argillet began in 1934 and lasted more than fifty years. Argillet commissioned him to illustrate the Greek Mythology, the Hippies, poems by Ronsard, Apollinaire, Mao Tse Tung, the "Venus in fur" by Sacher Masoch, and the "Faust" of Goethe. Dali completed also in 1973 the edition of the "Chants de Maldoror" by Lautreamont with 8 revisions.