AUG 03,2015 - AUG 03,2015 (1 DAYS)
Figueres - Dali Theatre-Museum (Teatro-Museo Dali), Gala-Salvador Dalí Square, 5:
Duration: 3 hours (at least) in the museum and the exhibition. 5-6 hours for the transportaion and walks to/from the museum.
How to arrive: The best way to arrive from Barcelona to Figueres is by RENFE (Inter-city and long distance Trains)) train (almost 2 hours - every direction). For timetable: http://www.renfe.com/CA/viajeros/index.html
The main (perhaps only) reason for going to Figueres is to visit the Salvador Dali Museum. Figueres is quite far to go to 'just' see the Dali museum (even if it is an amazing one), The AVE (high-speed) train has made the travel times much shorter than they used to be.
How to arrive to Dali Museum: the Figueres Vilafant station is not close to the Museum, but there is a bus connecting the station with the city center (200 meters from the Museum) within less than ten minutes. The bus ticket costs 1,25 €, and there is a bus every 25-30 minutes. Taxis are also available at the Figueres Vilafant station. There are no lockers in Figueres Vilafan train station.
Prices: we recommend purchasing entry to the jewel exhibition, which is housed in a separate building less than 100m away.
12 €/adult ((including the separate jewellery exhibition).
REDUCED 9 € Dalí ( including Jewels exhibition): Students, pensioners and unemployed people with the appropriate documentation.
01/11 - 28/02 From 10.30 to 18.00.
01/03 - 30/06 From 09.30 to 18.00.
01/07 - 30/09 From 09.00 to 20.00.
01/10 - 31/10 From 09.30 to 18.00.
General hints: The different collections managed by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation include all kinds of works of art: painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving, installation, hologram, stereoscopy, photography, etc., up to a quantity of some 4,000 pieces. Of these, some 1,500 are on show in the Dalí Theatre-Museum Dalí of Figueres. The whole museum-gallery is more a maze-alike. A bit chaotic in layout but , it only adds to the atmosphere. The museum is a free-flowing kind of place with different routes that you can take. Many kinds of paintings, sculptures, murals, exhibitions, other types of media and objects - a feast for all your senses - but, not many explanations. Several rooms contained art that Dali collected - and not made by him. For Surrealism lovers.
We suggest staying in beautiful Girona one night at least. You can combine your visit in Figueres with 1-day in Girona.
From Figueres Vilafant station to the Dalí's birth house, Carrer Monturiol, 20 - it is a 1.7 km. walk: head southeast on Carrer de les Pedreres toward Polígon Ua3 Puig Grau, 350 m. At the roundabout, continue straight onto Carrer d'Avinyonet, 550 m. Continue onto Passeig Nou, 290 m. Turn left onto Av. de Salvador Dalí i Domenech/N-IIa
12 m. Turn right onto Carrer Pep Ventura, 130 m. Turn right onto Pujada del Castell, 70 m. Slight left onto La Rambla, 170 m (we'll return to the Rambla). Continue onto Carrer Monturiol, 140 m. At Carrer Monturiol, 20
- is Dali's birth house.
Salvador Dalí Domènech was born in Figueres on 11 May 1904 to a wealthy family. His father was a solicitor. The house is located at no. 20 Carrer de Monturiol, and is known as Cara Puig. It is a modernist building designed by a famous architect, Josep Azemar, the city's chief architect between 1899 and 1914. Figueres also boasts several other buildings designed by Azemar, including a number of houses on La Rambla. The painter's only sister, Anna María Dalí, was also born here. The house is currently closed to visitors due to an ongoing legal dispute. There are long-standing plans to convert this publicly owned property into a cultural centre showcasing personal items belonging to Dalí, but no public opening date has yet been set:
From Dalí's birth house, Carrer Monturiol, 20 to Dalí Theatre-Museum
Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5 -it is a 450-500 m. walk: head southwest on Carrer Monturiol toward Carrer Sant Rafael, 140 m. Continue onto La Rambla, 170 m:
La Rambla turns slightly right and becomes Pujada del Castell
160 m. On your right - Dalí Theatre-Museum, Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5.
Exterior: externally, the building itself is fantastic. The museum is surreal like Dali, very surprising and not like any museum you might have seen earlier. The building is in itself a huge Dali installation with the giant egg battlements and spiraling columns.
Fantastic figures adorn the south facade:
A big sculpture standing opposite the entrance:
Dali sculpture outside the artist's Museum in Figueres:
Interiors: an amazing range of artwork, sculptures, drawing, objects on display. All very well laid out. An easy to follow guide leaflet available free and in many languages. Aside from Salvador Dalí's works, there are works by other artists that the painter invited to be exhibited in his museum, such as Antoni Pitxot and Evarist Vallès, accompanied by other artist from the painter's own private collection, such as El Greco, Marià Fortuny, Modest Urgell, Ernest Meissonier, Marcel Duchamp, Gerard Dou and Bouguereau. In various galleries of the Theatre-Museum we can also find works by John de Andrea, Wolf Vostell, Meifrén and Ernst Fuchs. Since Salvador Dalí death in 1989, the crypt where he is buried can also be visited at the centre of the museum. This area was remodeled in 1997 to exhibit a collection of gold jewels designed by the artist.
Dalí Jewels: one of the annexes to the Dalí Theatre-Museum houses a collection of 37 gold and precious stone jewels that Dalí produced between 1940 and 1970. Alongside the jewels, the exhibition also features the associated design drawings and paintings.
Smiling Venus (1921):
First days of Spring (1922):
Self-Portrait with l'Humanité (1923):
Port Alguer (1923-4):
Figures Lying on the Sand (1926):
The Spectre of Sex-Appeal (1932):
Portrait of Gala with Two Lamb Chops Balanced on Her Shoulder (1933):
Autumn Cannibalism, 1936. As with many artists, Dali was to depict war and conflict in several of his major works. Autumn Cannibalism was painted in the year the civil war began in Spain. The painting is an interpretation of the horror and destruction of war, and also containts hints on the nature of sexual relationships:
Soft self-portrait with grilled bacon (1941):
Poetry of America / The Cosmic Athletes (1943). Dalí painted this oil painting in the United States. The landscape is a mixture of the Empurdá plain and Cap de Creus and of the vast American deserts. The skin shaped as Africa appears in the background, on the tower of time, with the clock marking the time and the athletes - American football players - with the vertical symbolism of the Coca-Cola bottle between them, and the black telephone, encrusted into the bottle, from which comes a huge black stain that falls onto a white cloth that is attached to the athletes. The black stain has been the object of different interpretations, one of which ponders with the idea that it is a representation of the American racial problem. For me - it symbolizes the racial tension in the USA:
Geopoliticus Child Watcing the Birth of the New Man, 1943. This painting depicts the large egg-shaped globe of the world out of which a man from North America is struggling to hatch. There is blood running out of the crack in the egg and the new man's hand has England firmly in its grasp. In the foreground two figures are watching; one an adult the other a small child. The adult, of indeterminate sex, is drawing the child's attention by pointing at the new man being birthed, which is seen as Baku, Azerbaijan. The child is standing as if afraid - both hiding behind and holding on to the adult's knees. The painting is thought to be the parody during World War II, which shows the man emerging from the egg is rising out of the "new" nation, United States, which was in the process of becoming a new world power. Africa and South America are both enlarged, representing the growing importance of the Third World, while Europe is being crushed by the man's hand, indicating its diminishing importance as an international power:
Galarina (1944-45). Gala was the love of Dali's life, his one and only Gala. Gala was not only his wife but his endless source of inspiration. Salvador Dali had a pure, raw, some would even say a spiritual passion for Gala, and it is reflected in much of his art:
The Basket of Bread (1945). There is another painting of Basket of Bread from 1926:
Leda Atomica (1949). Dali himself described “Leda Atomica” as a picture created “in accordance with the modern ‘nothing touches’ theory of intra – atomic Physics”. “Leda does not touch the swan; Leda does not touch the pedestal; the pedestal does not touch the base; the base does not touch the sea; the sea does not touch the shore . . .” he explains. Thus, presenting a suspended world similar to the one of the atomic scale. The design of the composition is purely mathematical and carefully prepared as is revealed in a 1947 study of the artist. Leda (portrayed as his wife Gala) and the swan are inscribed in a regular pentagon, closely connected to the golden ratio. Dali conceived the design influenced by the Romanian polymath Prince Matila Costiesco Ghyka. The mathematical formula for the length of the pentagon’s side appears in the lower right side of the study:
Galatea of the Spheres (1952). A marvelous portrait of Dali's wife known as Gala. Gala was born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova (7 September 1894 – 10 June 1982) in Russia, to a family of intellectuals. As a young woman she graduated as a school-teacher in 1915 from a University in Moscow. Dali first met Gala in 1929 while working on the film Un Chien Andalou (the Andalusian Dog) by Luis Bunuel, Gala was the wife of another Surrealist Paul Eluard. Causing a rift in his family and tensions with other Surrealists Dali seduced Gala away from Eluard. In 1934 Dali and Gala were married in a civil ceremony in Paris and in 1958 the church permitted a Catholic ceremony (Gala's former husband died in 1952) and forever after she became known as Gala Éluard Dalí. Gala managed Dali's business affairs for their entire marriage a task to which the artist was unsuited. Dali considered Gala his world and his saviour and signed many of his works with her name. This amazing portrait is one of the many works in which Dali paints his feelings for Gala. This painting today sits in the Palace of the Wind Gallery:
Abstract paintings which seen from two metres as Three Lenines - changes into the Head of a Royal Tiger as seen from six metres, 1962:
Car Naval. Rainy taxi (1974-1985) in the central patio of the museum:
Queen Esther, by Dali's friend Ernest Fuchs - opposite the Rainy Car or Taxi:
Below is a painting in the great room that looks out to the Rainy car sculpture:
The central patio glass geodesic dome roof. You see this "Dome" also from the outside. It is one of the museum's landmarks:
The central Patio in the Museum - behind the Rainy Taxi:
Queen Esther opposite the Rainy Car or Taxi:
Face of Mae West Which Can Be Used as an Apartment (1974). In this installation at Dali Theatre-Museum, he created a reconstruction of a portrait he did of Mae West in the 1930s. The elements representing her lips, nose, eyes, are framed by platinum hair which isn’t shown in this photo, unfortunately. On the same level as the exhibit, they look like individual pieces, as shown below. But from a platform above, the full picture is visible...:
Gala Nude Looking at the Sea (1975)
which at 18 metres appears as President Lincoln.
The Pearl. After the Infanta Margarita and Las Meninas by Velázquez, 1981. Salvador Dalí's admiration for the character and work of Velázquez is well known:
Ceiling fresco in the Palace of the Wind. One of the ceiling paintings in a fairly large room packed with paintings and sculptures. Many people believe that the legs (in red) belong to Dali's wife - Gala. The opposite couple of legs, opposite, with the mustache - belong to Salvador Dali himself:
The connotation of limp clocks:
Michelangelo’s Moses – with octopus perched on top. The real Moses statue is in Basilica San Pietro in Vincoli, Rome (see Tipter "Christian Rome - Tour of Four Major Basilicas" blog:
Salvador Dali bedroom (his own design):
Although the work exhibited is basically by Dalí, there are also works by other artists who Dalí wanted to include: Antoni Pitxot, Evarist Vallès, the private collection of Salvador Dalí with works by El Greco, Marià Fortuny, Modest Urgell, Ernest Meissonier, Marcel Duchamp, Gerard Dou, etc. Similarly, in different galleries of the Theatre-Museum, works can be found by Bouguereau, John de Andrea, Wolf Vostell, Meifrén and Ernst Fuchs, among others.
Pitxot, Antoni - Sleeping Beach, 1974. One in a series of paintings comprised of "pebbles" and broken stones:
Pitxot, Antoni - Woman lying on red background, 1976:
Pitxot, Antoni - Giorgione's Maternity, 1977:
Pitxot, Antoni - The Allegory of the Memory, 1979:
More surrealistic paintings:
Pitxot, Antoni (?):
Dali's surrealistic sculptures:
There are several Kaliedescopes / prisms with surrealistic optic-illusion sights:
Another one - Dali touches a dancer's leg:
Poster of Bulls Fight (Corrida de Toros) from the 1950s with the name of salvador Dali:
1968 Aliyah to Israel - the series of graphic work entitled "Aliyah" dates from 1968, and was an assignment to commemorate the twenty years anniversary of the proclamation of the State of Israel. Dalí created a series of 25 mixed media paintings including gouache, watercolors and Indian ink on paper. They were reproduced as photolithographs and published in a limited edition presented in a folder with a letter of introduction by David Ben-Gurion, a key figure in the history of Israel. In order to illustrate the various meanings of the Hebrew world "aliyah", which means literally "migration to the land of Israel", the artist took inspiration from the Old Testament as well as contemporary history. Dalí depicted the vessel "Eliahu Golomb", full of refugees from the concentration camps, setting sail to Israel in 1946, despite the prohibition imposed by Palestine under the British Mandate. He also portrays David Ben-Gurion reading the Declaration of Independence in 1948. As usual in Dalí's work, the pieces also contain elements from his own iconography. This is the case with two lithographs that contain references to a major painting of that period, Tuna Fishing, an oil painting inspired by the Mediterranean coastal fishing practice which dates back to antiquity:
Since the death of Salvador Dalí, in 1989, one can also visit the crypt with his grave, situated in the centre of the museum; a space which was remodelled in 1997 in order to exhibit there a collection of gold jewellery designed by the artist. Dali was attracted by the materials and not by the money concerned. Salvador Dali designed these jewels in the 1940's and 50's and the original pieces were made up by the silversmith Carlos Alemany under the close supervision of the artist himself. As well as designing the jewels, Dali personally selected all the materials and precious stones used in each one. They were chosen not only for their quality and value, but for the symbolic meanings of each. In 1958 the Dali Jewel Collection was purchased by the Owen Cheatham Foundation and exhibited to raise money for various charitable organizations in the United States. The original pieces now reside at the Figueres Museum. It’s dark there. Taking photographs is difficult:
The human eye - with the tear in the left bottom corner:
Look and stay breathless:
Leaf Veined Hands:
Dali's Tristan & Isolde Brooch:
Short history: Inaugurated in 1974, the Dalí Theatre-Museum rises on the remains of the former Municipal Theatre of Figueres and is considered to be the last great work of Salvador Dalí. Everything in it was conceived and designed by the artist so as to offer visitors a real experience and draw them into his unique and captivating world. At the beginning of the 1960s Ramon Guardiola, Mayor of Figueres at the time, asked Salvador Dalí to donate a work for the Museu de l'Empordà. Dalí's reply came quickly: he would donate to Figueres not just a single work, but an entire museum. From the 'seventies onwards, Dalí devoted his entire attention to the museum project, taking part in it and designing its tiniest details, until it became real with the official inauguration of the Dalí Theatre-Museum on 28 September 1974. Dali’s relationship with his place of birth is powerful, deep and intense. He rescued and restored the burned out theatre across from the church where he was baptized, and where he held his first exhibition as a painter. The museum is his personal design based on his own aesthetics. It holds the representative range of all his works created during his lifetime. One of the most noticeable features of the museum, the transparent reticular-shape like a geodesic dome that crowns the building, was entrusted by Salvador Dalí to the Murcian architect Emilio Pérez Piñero (1935-1972). That dome has now become the main icon of the Theatre-Museum and a great landmark for the city of Figueres.
Around Dali Museum:
Church of Sant Pere: while queuing-up to the museum cashier - the church is on your right (east). Figueres' largest church is where Dalí was baptised and where his family regularly attended mass. The site dates back to the year 1020, and it still houses some remains of its Roman past. However, the current building is mainly of Gothic construction, although it has undergone multiple extensions over the years. The baptismal font is the same one in which Dalí himself was baptised: