Friday, May 15, 2015

Spanish Holiday - Salvador Dali

One of our excursions was a 7 am to 7 pm trip, about 140 km NE of Barcelona, to tour the Gala Dali Castle in Pubol, close to the city of Girona and the Salvador Dali Museum at his birthplace of Figueres.

This was Tanya's dream tour.  She is very knowledgeable about art while I am more of a Charlie Russell or Glen Scrimshaw kind of guy. When you say Salvador Dali to me, two pictures came to mind: The Persistence of Memory which every one knows and "The Agony of Love (The Unicorn)",a numbered print of which which our neighbours had in their dining room. So I had a lot to learn. He was of the Surrealist art school as was Picasso.  If it was artistic he could do it, including superb classical (??) painting and sculpture as well as some really strange stuff. 

Gala Dali, born Elena Invanovna Diakonova in Kazan Russia, had already been through a few Surrealist painters by the time she settled on Salvador Dali in 1929.  She was his love, his muse, his model and his business manager.  Judging from the number of paintings and sculptures in which she features and the number of men she bedded before and after her marriage with Dali, she seemed to spend most of her life with her clothes off.  Fortunately she had a perfect body for that sort of thing.

Salvador Dali bought her this castle in 1968.  It was already over 1000 years old and in pretty bad condition.  They carefully renovated it to restore the interior but leave the exterior showing the ravages of time. She spent the summers there and Dali was only allowed to visit her with specific advance written invitation.  When she died in 1982, she was buried in the castle and Dali moved in.  It became his final home and studio.

Houses in the village of Pubol area s old as the castle
The castle - three stories
Another view
Passage to the Italian garden
A Dali sculpture in the garden
Another Dali elephant sculpture
The museum is huge and filled with so many of his paintings, sketches, and sculptures, it kind of boggled my mind.  I managed an hour and a half but finally had to get out before my brain melted. 
Dali is buried in a vault in the the museum.

The main entrance to the museum

No idea of the name but I call it "My daughter cooking supper"

Look directly at the picture, it is a portrait of his wife.  Look through the camera and it is Abe Lincoln.
This is sort of half and half

Apparently this is famous.  A loaf of bread for a hat,
corn cobs for a necklace and ants crawling over her face


Painting or sculpture
Big concrete lady on expensive car
More of same.  Also tractor tire pillar in back
Big bird's cousin
Here's lookin' at you.

I liked this one.  Sort of stairway to heaven kind of thing.

Street front of museum
My kind of abstract sculpture!


  1. Any time I look at Salvador Dali's art I have to wonder whether he was seriously messed up, or it was all just a cynically-calculated attention-grab. I'm leaning toward "seriously messed up".

    1. He was certifiable. Since he was rich and famous, he was certifiable genius. If he had been poor and unknown, certifiable nuts. Its a fine line.

  2. Dali's works makes you laugh but then makes you think. Picasso's early works were very realistic almost photographic. But if you ever get the chance to see Picasso's 'Guernica' please do so. Saw it on loan at the Cleveland museum. A photo does it no justice.

    1. There were a couple of Picasso's early works in the museum-art gallery at Montserrat. They were incredible. He was a great artist before he went Surrealist or cubist or whatever. Guernica is one of his paintings I really do want to see for real someday. Have you read Anthony Beevor's The Battle for Spain?


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