Catalonia´s most eccentric son was born in Figueres, a small town outside Barcelona, and was undoubtedly one of the most important Spanish artists of the 20th century.Famous throughout the world for inspired paintings such as The Persistence of Memory (commonly recognised for its melting watch faces) and almost as infamous for his bizarre lifestyle and obsessions, Dalí was dedicated to Catalonia and many of his works feature rock formations from the Costa Brava coastline.
It is possible to see some of his artwork whilst in Barcelona; there are a couple of paintings in MNAC, for example, and a small gallery in Portal del Angel, but to experience this unique Spanish artist at his most exuberant it is necessary to travel a little further afield.The foremost destination is the Dalí-TheatreMuseum in Figueres, where Dalí lived and worked in the latter years of his life until his death in 1989, and underneath which he is buried.It makesan ideal day-trip out from Barcelona and it is more than worth the journey to experience a museum that Dalí himself described as ´the largest surrealist object in the world´. Every inch of the building and its contents is imbued with the artist’s unique view of the world, from the giant eggs welcoming visitors on the outside to the room entirely filled with a reconstruction of Mae West´s facial features using a variety of furniture on the inside.
Two other places with which Dalí is associated are the gorgeous fishing village of Cadaques, in the Cap de Creus nature reserve on the Costa Brava, and nearby Port Lligat. Dalí spent many happy childhood holidays here and the coastline made a great impression on him, with its craggy coastal rocks making many distorted appearances in his paintings. Cadaqués already had a bohemian and artistic reputation which was only accentuated by Dalí and his circle visiting throughout his lifetime; he built his house in Port Lligat and this is now been converted into a museum, theSalvador Dalí House-Museum.
Finally, it is also possible to visit the medieval castle in Pubol that Dalí redesigned to make a fitting home for his beloved wife Gala. Known as the Gala-DalíCastleHouseMuseum, visitors can admire the throne designed for Gala amongst other decadent eccentricities, along with the artist’s final workshop.
Dalí Theatre-Museum (Figueres)
Salvador Dalí House-Museum (Port Lligat) – this can only be visited in small groups and booking in advance is essential.Please see their website for opening times and booking details.