Salvador Dalí (Part 3): Figueres and the Dalí Theatre Museum

Salvador Dalí was born in this house (Monturiol Street, Figueres, province of Girona, Catalonia, Spain):

Monturiol street

The only reference to his birth in this building is a little sign (written in Catalan language) on its façade:

Dalí was born here

Salvador Dalí talks about this house in chapter 3 of his funny and crazy autobiography “The secret life of Salvador Dalí”. In fact, Dalí talks about a lot of things in this book, published in English in 1942. I have an old Spanish version (first edition, published in Spain by DASA Edicions, S.A.) and have re-read it in order to get some Dalinianan inspiration to prepare my posts about Don Salvador Dalí 🙂

The first phrase in the prologue is this one: “At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.”  You can easily imagine the tone and accent of the rest of this autobiography… By the way, the book is superbly illustrated by Dalí.

The house where Dalí was born is not far away from the church where Dalí was baptized (Saint Peter church). And just in front of said church is the biggest surrealistic artifact of the world: the Dalí Theatre-Museum.

Dalí Museum FIgueres

Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate, and for three reasons: first, because I am an eminently theatrical painter; second, because the theatre stands right opposite the church where I was baptized; and third, because it was precisely in the hall of the vestibule of the theatre where I gave my first exhibition of painting.”

In the crypt of the Dalí Theatre-Museum is the tomb of Salvador Dalí.

Theatre Museum Dalí

It’s obvious that other worlds exist, that’s certain; but, as I’ve already said on many other occasions, these other worlds are inside ours, they reside in the Earth and precisely at the center of the dome of the Dalí Museum, which contains the new, unsuspected and hallucinatory world of Surrealism.

The blue transparent geodesic dome on the top of the building represents a fly’s eye.

Apart from the greatest collection of Dalí oil paintings (he was a master of Surrealism, Cubism, Futurism, Naturalism, Impressionism, Pop Art, Holographic Art …) displayed “Dalí style” (that means with neither chronological nor logical nor rational order) in the museum you´ll find a vast array of Dalí’s dreams, including a 1941 Cadillac (it rains inside the car) or the giant portrait of Mae West (made out of furniture, including the Mae West Lips Sofa: it is a wood-and-satin sofa shaped after the lips of said actress, whom Dalí found fascinating).

I am the first to be surprised and often terrified by the images that I see appear on my canvas.”

Dalí Museum Figueres

So, with all that being said, you can guess that the Dalí Museum of Figueres is a paradise for any blogger in search of surrealistic-spectacular pictures … Wrong. There is a problem …

Gala Dalí Foundation

Public communication of the images taken inside the Dalí museums needs an authorization and rights clearance” (Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation)

Meditation Dalí

That is really a big problem. I have no authorization to publish interior views …

Statue by Dalí

But I do not need any authorization to publish exterior views …

Exterior view Dalí Museum

Dalí personally designed and decorated the whole museum.  There are over-sized eggs on the roof. The façade is covered with representations of the loaves of bread sold everywhere in the Empordà (the most wonderful shire of the world). The museum and its adjacent streets display weird sculptures made by Dalí and … No. Stop. I’d rather not go on describing this amazing museum. According to Dalí, “there are two kinds of visitors: those who don’t need a description and those who aren’t worth a description”. I am sure that my little bunch of loyal readers belongs to the first category. They don’t need a description …

Dalí Museum façade

Dalí surroundings 1

Dalí square

Sant Pere Figueres

Newton by Dalí

Newton in Figueres

Teatre Museu Dalí

By Dalí

Dalí Museum roof

Torre Galatea Dalí

Surrealistic building

cafés in Figueres

If someday I die, though it may never happen, I hope that the people in the cafes in Figueres will say, Dalí has died, but not entirely

Dalí was right. He is still alive.

Dalí jewels

 

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About Covetotop

A Mediterranean blogger
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18 Responses to Salvador Dalí (Part 3): Figueres and the Dalí Theatre Museum

  1. VisitSiena says:

    nice post, nice photos 🙂 !!

  2. Trish says:

    What can I say? You’ve taken me back a few months to the day I was there. There were too many people around that museum, though when I walked around Figueres it wasn’t really crowded. You seem to have captured photos without people getting in the way, but I see you’ve pointed your camera up, away from the street. Inside, there’s too much weird stuff which I don’t remember, but there’s a surprisingly beautiful painting of Dali’s wife Gala, just her back. It’s not surrealistic, which pleased me. I loved this post, Covetotop. Well done.

    • Covetotop says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Trish. Figueres is a little village, but its museum is certainly a heavily visited one. It is a classical target for touristic-one-day-trip-buses coming from Barcelona or from the Costa Brava beach resorts. Hence, in low season it is possible to visit it in a relatively peaceful way. A crowded museum is a nightmare, no matter the awesome pieces of art it may contain ☹

  3. Sarah says:

    Sounds like a character, this Salvador. For some reason I feel like the museum belongs in a Dr. Who episode. 🙂

  4. Linda Duffin says:

    Oddly enough, I thought Dr Who, too, when I saw the diver on the balcony. I love Dali’s early drawings and illustrations, they have a beauty and delicacy that I feel is lacking in his Surrealist work.

  5. a ferreira says:

    You entertain, teaching – or you teach, entertaining: that’s extraordinary anyway!
    Dalí had such a fine irony and sence of humour, and this becomes quite clear when reading his own words, much clearer than just looking at his paintings or sculptures.
    Now that you’ve joined together his words and his works side by side, we can (start to…) better understand him! 🙂

    • Covetotop says:

      Muito obrigado! 🙂 Just take into account that Dalí said this: “The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand the meaning of my art doesn’t imply that these paintings are meaningless; on the contrary, their meaning is so deep, complex, coherent and involuntary that it eludes the simple analysis of logical intuition”.

  6. A touching, heartwarming tribute. Truly one of the greatest. I admire your skill in handling the great and the mighty with good humor yet always with the utmost respect. Great post!

  7. Pingback: Salvador Dalí, Paris | Treasures of Europe

  8. Pingback: Salvador Dalí, Paris | Lingo Immersions

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