Dali is one of the most important surrealistic painters and most eccentric of all artists of the Modern Age. His old-school techniques contrasted sharply with the other Surrealists, which led to his expulsion from the group. Death, decay and destruction are often repeated themes, influenced by Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico and the writing of Sigmund Freud. He described his style as a paranoid-critical method. Sexual and religious content is mixed with highly subjective and personal sensations. Dali's oeuvre extends beyond painting to include sculptures, films, jewelery and glass objects. His life was marred by an early identity crisis, which lead to Dali living his life between exaggerated self-promotion and psychological self-destruction. Gala, his wife and muse, was always able to save him from the latest crisis. But it was Dali himself who invented himself as a commercial object.