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Salvador Dali through Freud

            Salvador Dali is very well classified as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His work was so prominent because of its uniqueness. His ability to transform a one-dimensional canvas into a dream-like landscape challenged the viewer’s interpretation of the piece in an uncommon way. His flair for getting publicity through scandal aided in making a name for himself in the art world. Those who appreciated Dali’s art understood the context in which it should be read. It is helpful to understand the development of his work by formally analyzing his surrealist paintings. Dali, considered a child prodigy, began painting before the age of ten. His style of art, however, did not evolve in a consistent format. Born in Spain, Dali never truly left behind the childhood environment that very much influenced his work. As he grew up he experienced with various artistic methods, such as Impressionism and Pointillism, and later, Italian Futurism and Cubism. After studying in Paris, surprisingly becoming very well informed of the newest events in such a great art-metropolis, he began to take great interest in philosophy and literature. In 1923, Sigmund Freud’s book, Interpretation of Dreams appeared in Spanish translation, and it was then that Dali’s art ultimately began to change. It is thought that Dali’s surrealist work is very much based on the theories of Sigmund Freud, the great psychological scholar. .
             In his own autobiography, Dali states that all artists must become, “carnivorous fish…swimming between two kinds of water, the cold water of art and the warm water of science.” This expresses the idea that Dali was not only interested in artistic methods for his paintings, but he also wanted to involve ideas of science, like psychology, into his work. Discovering Freud’s ideas pushed forth Dali’s art and furthermore answered some of the problems he had faced throughout much of his childhood.