Throughout his life, Dalí reflected on his relationship with his brother, even saying once, "[We] resembled each other like two drops of water, but we had different reflections." He "was probably a first version of myself, but conceived too much in the absolute."
He explored this concept of double identity in Portrait of My Dead Brother in 1963, which features an image of a young man—meant to be his brother—created from cherries. The artist described the work for an exhibition: “The Vulture, according to the Egyptians and Freud, represents my mother’s portrait. The cherries represent the molecules, the dark cherries create the visage of my dead brother, the sun-lighted cherries create the image of Salvador living thus repeating the great myth of the Dioscures Castor and Pollux.”
2. Dalí was expelled from the same art school twice
Though Salvador Dalí proved to be an exceptionally gifted artist, he wasn’t always a gifted student. He was expelled from the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1923 for participating in a student protest when painter Daniel Vázquez Díaz was passed over for a professorship. When he returned later to the same school, he was expelled again in 1926 because he said the professors who were slated to give him his final oral examinations were incompetent.
He even wrote later in his autobiography, “I am infinitely more intelligent than these three professors, and I therefore refuse to be examined by them. I know this subject much too well.”
3. The artist’s work was influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories
Viewers of Dalí’s paintings will not be surprised to learn he was a fan of Sigmund Freud’s work on the subconscious. Dalí read the famed psychoanalyst's book, The Interpretation of Dreams while in art school and was inspired to use the concept of self-interpretation in his own creative work.