At first influenced by futurism, in 1924 Dali came under the influence of Italian Chirico. By 1929 he had become a leader of surrealism. His precise style enhanced the nightmare effect of his paintings. Among his best-known works is Persistence of Memory (1931; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City).
In 1940 Dali emigrated to the United States. He wrote The Secret Life of Salvador Dali (1942). Dali has also made surrealist ventures in films (e.g., Luis Buñuel's Un Chien andalou, 1928), advertising, and the ballet. The Salvador Dali Museum, St. Petersburg, Fla., is devoted entirely to his works.
See his diary, ed. by Michel Déon (tr. 1965); biographies by Ignacio G. De Liano (1984) and Rudolf Rom (1985); study by Carlton Lake (1969).