Some artists achieved such astonishing results so early in their careers. Innate talent was a factor, of course. But they also started young: Picasso, Dalí, and Michelangelo were all painting by their early teens. Below is a childhood work of Salvador Dali, which offers a glimpse into the evolution of artistic genius.
This diminutive work is thought to be the artist’s earliest extant painting, completed between the ages of six and 10 on the back of a blank postcard. (Look closely, and a printed design is visible through the thinly painted sky and clouds.) Dalí grew up in the small Spanish town of Figueres, not far from Barcelona, and many of his earliest works reflect the local Catalan landscape.
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Inspired by Ramón Pichot, his mentor and family friend, the young Dalí worked mostly in an Impressionist style. A professional artist who was close with Picasso, Pichot eventually convinced Dalí’s father to send his son to art school in Madrid—launching the career of the irreverent, world-famous Surrealist