Dalí is a very famous Catalan artist with a bizarre personality and known by his eccentricity. He was born in Figueres in 1904 and enrolled in a French school, he would use french later on in his essays and works.
His father was not very keen with Dalí's aim to become an artist, but he decided that if he had to go that path at least he got the most of education in that field. The father's desire was that at least he could qualify to be a teacher on the field.
He studied art at the Figueres Municipal Drawing School and then he enrolled in Madrid in an arts school. We not only painted but also wrote articles and essays on art and met famous intellectuals of the time such as Federico Garcia Lorca, they became good friends.
Dalí experimented with different styles going from classical to cubist and impressionist but ultimately he adopted the surrealist style and is the one he has been recognized for around the world. Salvador Dalí died in January 1989 and he is buried in the Dalí Theatre- Museum in Figueres.
Gala: Dalí's muse
Dalí met Gala in Cadaqués in 1929, the artist invited some friends to his house and Gala was the wife of Paul Eluard at that time, and she came with his daughter Cécile. From that moment, they were inseparable, Gala -her real name was Elena Ivanova-, she was a Russian divorced woman with a daughter, not very usual at the time.
Their love relationship was controversial since Gala was known to have extramarital relationships with the knowledge and consent of his husband, Dalí. It is said even that not only she had sex with other men but in front of her husband and in public, they had crazy parties with other artists and it seemed a practice of public knowledge.
She was a free woman, hedonist and vital that gave Dalí the inspiration he needed to continue with his works. They complemented each other in a way that it is is difficult to describe, not sure it was love, but it was certainly a deep tie between them.
Gala became Dalí's muse, she is present in the works of Dalí in different paintings: 'Assumpta Corpuscularia Lapislazzulina', 'La mujer visible', la 'Leda atómica', 'La Madona de Port Lligat' etc...
In the last years of Gala, they were morally miserable, she had many lovers that she provided for them and gave expensive presents to them with Dalí's money. It seems Gala was not the loving kind of wife but more a woman who liked money and knew that Dalí could provide for her, they did a fair exchange. She was the muse the artist needed to develop his art and she received what she wanted, money and freedom to follow her wishes.
When Gala died, dalí was devastated and abandoned himself in many senses, he went to live to Gala's private residence: Púbol Castle. It is interesting to know that the Púbol Castle was a gift from Dalí to Gala, a residence for her to relax and in where he could only visit her if she expressed her will to invite him in by letter.
She was like a queen to him and as such she was treated with respect and will all the details she deserved as his muse. She had her own castle -Púbol Castle and, an oval room for her time alone in Portlligat house.
Portlligat House: Dalí's place of residence and studio
Portlligat house was Salvador Dalí's place of residence, and he lived there until Gala died on 1982, and then he moved to the Púbol Castle.
Dalí set up his home in 1930 in a small fisherman's town in Costa Brava in Portlligat, an incredible spot to seek inspiration because of the seaside and the isolation of the place. He lived there since day one but he created his house adding new structures during forty years until having built what we can see today.
The house is a maze, with narrow corridors, stairs up and down with slight level changes and decorated with infinite objects from Dalí. It is interesting to see the house full of windows of different shapes and sizes that frame this incredible landscape that is Portlligat bay.
Another thing that took my attention was Dalí's obsession with light, he wanted to see the first ray of light from his bed, so he had a mirror looking at the window and from bed he could see the beginning of the day.
In his house in Portlligat and in his work you can find eggs in different ways, the egg is a symbol of fertility and love for him. We can see them in Dalí's museum in Figueres, in his House in Portlligat and also in his paintings.
No wonder why Portlligat was Dalí's usual residence, it was his place of production, his favorite place to work, it is a peaceful spot looking at the sea.
He lived in Portlligat until the outbreak of the civil war when Dalí and Gala moved to the United States. They did not return to their house in the sea side until 1948, by that time the house already had two huts and they bought another to built the library and the living room that we can see nowadays.
Birds room and Bedroom: interesting to see his bedroom, colourful bedspreads and of course, a window showing the magnificent landscape. The birds room is the room before the bedroom in a lower level that contained a cage with canaries. He liked the sound of their singing.
Oval room-Gala's relax room: it is a very interesting room, it was built in a semi-spherical shape following the same design the artist made for a nightclub in Acapulco. If you place yourself in the middle of the room, your voices echos due to the shape of the ceiling.
The dressing room : is a room full of wardrobes decorated by Gala, she collected pictures of the time, and magazine articles and did a collage with them in the wardrobe doors. You can see Dalí and Gala with numerous celebrities of the time such as Ingrid Bergman, Maria Calas, Coco Chanel and Walt Disney among others.
Dalí studio: you can still see everything as Dalí left it, the paint, the paintings, the brushes and all his tools to do his art are placed as they were. They are all original objects that help you imagine how the artists produced his work at that time.
Book in advance, otherwise most likely you won't be able to visit the house, only 8 people get in every 10 minutes. One you book online, you need to be in the ticket office 30 minutes before your entrance time to pick up the tickets, otherwise they will be sold. Check their section for accessibility. Opening Times and prices