During the 1920s, Dalí made a number of trips to Paris, where he met with painters such as Picasso. He also met Joan Miró, along with poet Paul Éluard and René Magritte, who was fundamental in introducing Dalí to Surrealism. Paris in the 1920s was full of high hopes following the end of the First World War, the French economy boomed from 1921 until the great depression of the 1930s .’Les Annes Folles’ saw Paris re-establish itself as a capital of art, music and cinema.
Dalí gives details in his memorable style about these various meetings, in his book ‘The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí’. (1942)
During this period, when he was in his twenties, Dalì experimented with the styles of Impressionism, Futurism and Cubism
Renè Magritte was one of the group responsible for the creation of surrealism. René Magritte's paintings explore the 'unconscious' gaps between the communication and interpretation of the words and images that we use to describe reality. Who can forget his emblematic and succinctly surrealist oil on canvas ‘The Son of Man’( 1964) , purportedly a self- portrait, Magritte said, ‘ If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.
Joan Mirò, born in Barcelona in 1893 was older than Dalí by eleven years. One of his most famous works is ‘Constellation, the Morning Star ‘(1940). Mirò was a contemporary of Dalí, and now Barcelona is home to the ‘Fundacio Joan Mirò’ created by Mirò himself in 1975. Both Catalans, their painting styles were uniquely different, yet from the same era.
Pablo Picasso, was Dalí’s greatest rival and contemporary. There was a strong connection between Picasso and Dalí, both Spanish born, two artistic giants of the twentieth century, and that their relationship, both personal and artistic is well documented. Dalí, of course, was younger than Picasso, and looked up to the elder Picasso was born in 1881; older than Dalì by more than 20 years, he spent most of his working life in France. Founder of the cubist movement, and most famous for his ceramics and of course, paintings.
Mr Beniamino Levi, President of the Dalí Universe, collected many of these surrealist artists works in his gallery on Via Napoleone in Milan during the 1960s, Kandinsky, Le Corbusier, amongst others.