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25 Salvador Dali Quotes From The Surreal Spanish Artist

These Salvador Dali quotes illustrate how he felt about art, life, and himself.

Keep reading to learn more about this master artist and Surrealism.

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech was a Spanish surrealist artist, who received a formal education in fine arts in Madrid.

His technical skill and precision draftsmanship coupled with the bizarre images he created led to his becoming a world-renowned artist.

He was also the 1st Marquess of Dalí de Púbol.

Surrealism was an artistic and literary movement founded by poet André Breton in Paris in 1924.

It theorized that the Enlightenment—the 17th- and 18th-century intellectual movement focused on reason and individualism—had suppressed other qualities.

Breton believed these were the superior qualities of the irrational, unconscious mind.

From a young age, Impressionism and Renaissance masters influenced Dali’s work.

He also became increasingly attracted to Cubism and avant-garde movements.

In the late 1920s, these interests had moved him closer to Surrealism.

In 1929, he joined the Surrealist group, quickly becoming one of its leading figures.

Don’t forget to also check out these art quotes celebrating the power and beauty of creation.

Salvador Dali quotes about art and painting

1. “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” ― Salvador Dalí

2. “Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating: It is either good or bad.” ― Salvador Dalí

3. “This grandiose tragedy that we call modern art.” ― Salvador Dalí

4. “We are all hungry and thirsty for concrete images. Abstract art will have been good for one thing: to restore its exact virginity to figurative art.” ― Salvador Dalí

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5. “Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you.” ― Salvador Dalí

6. “People love mystery, and that is why they love my paintings.” ― Salvador Dalí

7. “I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait.” ― Salvador Dalí

8. “If you understand your painting beforehand, you might as well not paint it.” ― Salvador Dalí

9. “Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation.” ― Salvador Dalí

10. “The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.” ― Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dali quotes about surrealism, confusion, drugs, and life

11. “Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” ― Salvador Dalí

12. “Surrealism is not a movement. It is a latent state of mind, perceivable through the powers of dream and nightmare.” ― Salvador Dalí

13. “Instead of stubbornly attempting to use surrealism for purposes of subversion, it is necessary to try to make of surrealism something as solid, complete, and classic as the works of museums.” ― Salvador Dalí

14. “Life is too short to remain unnoticed.” ― Salvador Dalí

15. “I absolutely love life.” ― Salvador Dalí

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16. “I don’t do drugs. I am a drug.” ― Salvador Dalí

17. “What is important is to spread confusion, not eliminate it.” ― Salvador Dalí

18. “Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic.” ― Salvador Dalí

19. “You have to systematically create confusion; it sets creativity free. Everything that is contradictory creates life.” ― Salvador Dalí

20. “Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” ― Salvador Dalí

Inspirational Salvador Dali quotes

21. “No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy person.” ― Salvador Dalí

22. “Knowing how to look is a way of inventing.” ― Salvador Dalí

23. “Don’t bother about being modern. Unfortunately, it is the one thing that, whatever you do, you cannot avoid.” ― Salvador Dalí

24. “Repulsion is the sentry that guards the gate to all that we most desire.” ― Salvador Dalí

25. “Intelligence without ambition is a bird without wings.” ― Salvador Dalí

What did you learn from these Salvador Dali quotes?

Salvador Dali’s best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931.

The painting features several clocks that appear to be melting in a bleak dreamscape and is one of the most famous Surrealist paintings.

He did more than just paintings, though.

His artistic work also included graphic art, film, sculpture, and photography.

He was also a writer of fiction, poetry, and essays.

His work featured themes that included dreams, the human subconscious, sexuality, religion, and science.

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Dali lived in Spain, France, and the United States, where he achieved the most commercial success.

He lived in France throughout the Spanish Civil War (1936 to 1939) before leaving for the United States in 1940, where he achieved the most commercial success.

He returned to Spain in 1948, where he announced his return to Catholicism.

His eccentric behavior often drew more attention than his artwork, much to the dismay of those who held his work in high regard.

Tell us which piece of artwork you most admire of Dali’s in the comment section below, along with any other favorite Salvador Dali quotes and sayings.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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