Salvador Dalí

Coin Set

Dedicated by the FNMT-RCM to the talented artist Salvador Dalí (1904-1989), this release is the second set in the "Spanish Painters" series which was prompted by a desire to honour the most outstanding Spanish creators in history.

This 2nd set is composed of five collector coins that re-create some of this painter's most well-known works of art.

Link: 2nd Series Spanish Painters - Dalí



This work represents one of the models from Dali's cubist period in which he follows the clownism line of Rafael Barradas. This Uruguayan artist introduced the futurism and the cubism that he had seen in situ on Italian and French soils. Rafael Barradas had created the so-called vibrationism which was based on a synthesis of the cubist planes and the futurist dynamism, and this influence can be perceived in Dali's work, Cubist Self-Portrait, painted in 1923.

Click on image to see larger image

Self-portrait with L'Humanité, 1923.


A surrealist work painted by Dalí in 1932 in which he shows his desire to experiment with different stages of picture completion.

Click on image to see larger image

Automatic beginning of a portrait of Gala, 1933.


This work is known by the name of The Spectre of the Libido. It presents some of the verses from the poem "L' amour et la mémoire", wherein love would be represented by a putrefact body and memory by the presence of a small child. This child is a depiction of Dali himself situated at bottom right dressed in a sailor suit in remembrance of his childhood, holding a hoop and a femur that serves as a stick.

Click on image to see larger image

The spectre of sex-appeal, 1934.


The medieval story of Tristan and Isolde was one of the legends that most powerfully captured Dali's imagination. It tells the story of two lovers and ends by revealing the myth of impossible love, to which are added forceful tragic elements. Salvador Dalí was able to engage in such an appealing subject on several occasions during the decade of the 40's. Specifically, when he was commissioned to paint the scenery for the 1941 ballet "Tristan and Isolde" and again for a new adaptation of it in 1944.

Click on image to see larger image

Tristan and Isolde, 1944.

GALARINA, 1944/45

Before becoming a painter in the pure "classical style" Dalí painted this magnificent portrait of his muse, Gala. He worked on its completion for over six months. Dali gave it the name Galarina to draw a comparison or simile with Raphael's La Fornarina.

Click on image to see larger image



The painting shows Saint Anthony the Abbot kneeling in a desert and holding, in the traditional exorcism gesture, a cross made from two sticks in order to ward off the temptations that are assailing him. The canvas literally describes the temptations: Triumph, Sex, Gold and Riches, that man usually falls prey to.

Click on image to see larger image

The temptation of Saint Anthony, 1947.


Picasso always maintained very good relations with Catalonia and from the early days of Dali's career showed interest in his work. So it is not to be surprised that on Dali's first trip to Paris the young artist was quick to visit Picasso. The latter received him in his studio and showed him how his work was developing at that time, an evolution that made a deep impression on Dali. Picasso's new style, fairly similar in those days to that of Breton, must have inclined Dali's way of painting towards surrealism for the first time.

Click on image to see larger image

Portrait of Pablo Picasso in the 21st Century, 1947.


A surrealist bust that Dalí painted in 1930 and put the final touches to in 1970.

Click on image to see larger image

Retrospective bust of a woman.


Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904. He began to draw and paint in earnest at a very young age and in 1922 he took up the study of Fine Arts in Madrid. During his stay in the Students' Residence he developed great friendships with the poet Federico García Lorca and the film-maker Luis Buñuel, and carried out with them many avant-garde artistic projects.

After studying in Madrid Dalí left for París where he joined the group of surrealist painters and writers. Dating from this period are some of the works that would make him one of the maximum representatives of surrealism, namely "The Great Masturbator", "The Spectre of Sex Appeal", "The Lugubrious Game" and "The Persistence of Memory". In 1929 he met the young Russian woman Helena Diakonova, known by the assumed name of Gala, who remained thereafter his model and companion.

Salvador Dalí

Coinciding with the start of the Second World War, Salvador Dalí and Gala set up residence for a number of years in the United States where Dali's painting style, realist and onirical, enjoyed much success. He penned "The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí" and also worked in film, theatre, opera and the ballet. From the nineteen forties came important works such as "Soft Self-portrait with Grilled Bacon", "The Basket of Bread", "Leda Atomica" and "The Madonna of Portlligat". Having become one of the most famous painters of his day, in 1948 he returned to live in Europe and spent long periods at a time in his house and studio at Portlligat.

During the seventies Salvador Dalí created and inaugurated the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, where a large collection of his work is exhibited ranging from his first steps and his surrealist creations to the works produced in the latter years of his life. After living for many years in Portlligat, upon the death of his wife Gala he moved to El Castillo de Púbol for a few years, then spent the last period of his life in La Torre Galatea, near the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, where he wished to be buried.

In 1983 he created the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, the institution that manages, safeguards and promotes his artistic and intellectual legacy.

He died on January 23, 1989.