“I am absolutely normal. The one who doesn’t understand my painting who doesn’t love Velasquez to whom it isn’t interesting is abnormal, what time is it now on my spread dials – after all they show exact time”
The name of the greatest mystifier and myth maker of the 20th eyelid of Salvador Dali became a symbol of a paradoxicality of human consciousness, a celebration of the irrational beginning over reason, secret life of subconsciousness over a reality long ago.
Meanwhile, terrestrial life of Dali is inseparably linked with the beautiful State of Catalonia – small quiet places in the province Gerona. The resorts of Figueres and Cadaques, small villages Port-Lligat and Pubol – today names of these places thanking Gave know the whole world. Here are open the museums which became part of an obligatory route of numerous admirers of the excentric genius.
The beach of the resort town Cadaques where there came Dali still in the summer remembers, probably, a fatal meeting with Gala, Dali’s muse and his unseparable half until the end of life. He was 25 years old, to it – is 10 years more. Elena Dyakonova, such is her real name, and then was the wife of the French poet Paul Eluard. A name Galina, or Gala, she chose to herself, and Eluard said it in the French style, with an accent on a final syllable, – Gala. Acquaintance with Gala turned Dali’s life and opened the new page in his creativity. Its image from now on зримо and invisibly is present almost at all works of the artist. She not only inspires the genius, but also assumes all household, practical part of their joint life: organizes exhibitions, signs contracts, and meets customers. He needs only to play a role of himself, the mad genius, and to create. That it also does – much, is obsessed, is passionate – shocking and admiring public.
The old fishing hovel in a small village Port-Lligat near Cadaques became Dali and Gala’s first house, and after his main workshop. Here the majority of paintings of the artist were issued. Landscapes Port-Лигáта – the sea, a bay, rocks and olive trees ashore – became an obligatory element of his many pictures. Including the well-known painting – “Constancy of memory” with the soft, hanging-down hours which became the business card of Dali. This house workshop – a favourite haven was given. Here it found a privacy, rest and silence within more than 40 years. Gradually spouses redeemed some more next houses, having connected them corridors and ladders. Now this freakish construction became the artist’s house museum.
The medieval castle of the beginning of the 11th eyelid in a small village Pubol was presented by the artist to the wife when both already were in old age and the former passion ceased. The half-ruined lock with the thrown garden attracted Dali with the gloomy mystery. This atmosphere was carefully kept and after reconstruction of the lock which received the name «Lock Gala-Dali», and is now opens for visitors. At the request of a whimsical muse, I could visit her Dali only with the written permission. After Gala’s death it for two years moved here to be closer to it. Here its ashes were based and her soul therefore the emptiness and loneliness which filled life of Dali with its leaving weren’t so sharply felt continued to live. And only the fire during which the old artist got serious burns, forced it to leave this lonely corner.
The small museum was allowed to eat and in the center of Gothic quarter of Barcelona. On Carrer dels Arcs Street is the building of the Royal art circle of Barcelona (“Museo Reial Artistic Barcelona”) based by local artists at the end of the 19th century. On the first floor is located the Dali museum where not numerous and little-known sketches, sculptures and photos of the artist are stored. And in other halls art exhibitions of the Spanish and foreign masters, conferences, concerts and film screenings are held.
But his hometown – Figueres located in 140 km from Barcelona became the center of the Universe of Salvador Dalí. Here on May 11, 1904 in a family of the notary was born future genius of surrealism. And in the building of Municipal Theater there took place the first exhibition of the 14-year-old artist. In many years on ruins of the same theater destroyed and burned during civil war was created the main masterpiece of Dali – Theatre Museum. In Figueres the terrestrial way ended with Dali and flight in immortality began …
The eminent painter, the director and the writer was 54 years old when the mayor of Figueres asked Dali to present some pictures to the city. Instead of this Dali promised to present to the city the whole museum. After that conversation passed the whole 14 years before the museum, at last, was open. Since then he began to lead the life, continuously changing and developing just as the Universe space constantly extends. New parts of the museum were gradually completed. Dali made changes and additions to his exposition to the death.
The plan of the creator was grandiose: “I want that my museum was a monolith, a labyrinth, huge surreal object. It will be absolutely theatrical museum. Coming here will leave with feeling as if the theatrical dream came in dream to them”. The space of the museum is filled with illusions, focuses, rebuses and secrets which master was Dali. Deprived even of a hint on chronology of a hall and corridors of this labyrinth take away visitors in depths of own subconsciousness where the fantastic performance starts being played.
The theater, as we know, begins with a hanger. Salvador Dalí’s theater begins with the area. From Gala-Salvador Dalí Square where the museum is located. The space round theater too is thought carefully over and organized by his founder. And therefore it isn’t less symbolical and it is significant. Near theater the ancient church of Saint Peter where christened little “Savior” rises – the name El Salvador chosen for it by the father is so translated. The paving slabs on the square form beams which meet to the center of the museum – a scene with the transparent geodetic dome which became a symbol of the Figueres city.
Round Dali’s museum I placed the sculptures designating the main concepts on which the world sticks to it: science, art and philosophy. The science is embodied in a sculpture of “Newton’s Memory”, classical art – in three monuments to the artist Jean-Louis of Ernest Meissonier whom Dali admired, and the modern art is expressed by “A television obelisk”. Opposite to the main facade of the museum the monument to the outstanding Catalan philosopher and friend of family is established Gave – Franceska Pujols.
From far away the building of Theatre Museum reminds a huge illustration to Carroll’s fairy tale “Through the Looking-Glass” and the look promises curious visitors improbable adventures beyond the reasonable. Claret walls are decorated with small rolls, and topped with huge eggs on roof perimeter. Involuntarily comes to mind egghead of Humpty-Dumpty which sat on a wall … Actually, eggs and bread – often repeating images symbols of the art world Gave. Bread is a symbol of abundance and at the same time – expression of subconscious fear of poverty and hunger. And eggs symbolize origin of life and revival. Two gilded dummies on eaves of the central facade hold in outstretched arms atom of hydrogen – one more through image Dali reflecting it interest in nuclear physics. And the diver’s figure on one of eaves hints at immersion in dark depths of subconsciousness which waits for us in the museum.
The entrance to theater is quite traditional: behind glass doors before us the lobby opens, – if, of course, to close eyes to small strangeness that as door handles old irons serve here. In a lobby the posters, posters and photos reminding of important creative events in Dali’s life and connected with creation and opening of Theatre Museum are hanging.
Through big windows of a lobby the romantic view of a courtyard opens. In the center of the yard the attention of visitors is attracted by the well-known composition which became in modest opinion of Dali, the greatest monument of surrealism. Cadillac – the artist’s gift to the spouse forms her basis. The car with dummies of the driver and two passengers has the lyrical name inside – “A rainy taxi”. On a cowl the sculpture of the queen Esthere which pulls the column of the emperor Trajan made of automobile tires on chains is established. And Gala’s boat and a black umbrella crowns composition. That the umbrella started opening and be closed, and in Cadillac dug a rain, it is necessary to throw a coin.
The courtyard is set with myrtle bushes in the form of a Latin letter G – the first letter of Gala. The myrtle was a love symbol for a long time.
Music which usually sounds in the Museum is chosen by the author. Works of favourite composers gave it – Wagner and Bise. Wagner’s opera “Tristan and Izolda” is especially Dali Road. On its basis the ballet “Mad Tristan” on which creation Dali worked was put.
From the yard in theater it is possible to rise on a white marble ramp. And here we are in the heart of theater, on a scene under a dome from steel and glass. Here reminds the huge cloth written by the artist for the ballet “Labyrinth” on Schubert’s music of close connection of Dali with theater. Suits, scenery and the libretto to history about Ariadne and Tezey were executed by Dali. In the center of composition is a bust with an aperture in a breast through which is seen the familiar landscape of the cape Creus in vicinities Figueres, with the cypresses and rocks going to the sea.
On other wall of theater one bigger picture intrigues the viewer with optical photoeffect. From far away on a cloth we see a portrait of Abraham Lincoln, but if you come closer – in lines of his face starts appearing the figure bared Gals. The picture and is called: “The naked Gala looking at the sea who at distance of 18 meters is transformed to Abraham Lincoln’s portrait” (1975)
And on a scene the small tombstone reports that here are based ashes of El Salvador of Dali-i-Domenech, the marchioness de Pubol.
Continuing travel on the museum, we get to the Hall of Treasures. Walls of this room are sheathed by red velvet that does it similar to a casket with jewelry. Treasures of this hall is the most valuable exhibits of the museum furnishing the clue to a solution of many secrets of works of the artist. They contain hints, signs and links to masterpieces of world art which history of Dali very well I knew, on achievements of science and an event of its creative and private life. Here Gals cult is especially felt, whose image is present on the majority of cloths. Here Dali’s gift – the picture “Basket with Bread” is stored main and the best, according to Gala. Spouses never left it.
Having returned back to a scene under a dome, from here it is possible to pass to one of the best-known halls of the museum – Mae Uest’s Hall devoted to this American actress. The hall represents the room where the furniture reproduces features of the actress: a red sofa in the form of chubby seductive lips, a nose fireplace with the smoldering coals, eyes pictures in which landscapes of Paris – the Eiffel Tower and Seine are reflected. Frame “face” of the room of a portiere in the form of a huge blond wig. The room was created on the basis of Distance drawing “Mae Uest’s face which can be used as the room”. Here we again deal with optical game of the Distance: transformation of the two-dimensional image into the three-dimensional. Better to make out this focus, it is necessary to look at the room through the reducing lens, especially for it suspended here. And then the room becomes Mae Uest’s face.
The spiral staircase conducts on the second and third floor where the performance culmination from Dali has to be developed, – to the Hall of Masterpieces. Here cloths of famous artists from a personal collection of the Distance, and also Dali’s work which he counted as masterpieces are collected. The chronological principle isn’t observed and here. Time is relative and subjective. Only associative game musters between cloths matters. The main pride of a collection of the Distance is El Greco’s picture “Saint Paul” and two canvases of the Dutch artist Gerard Dou, the pupil Rembrandt.
The special place in the Museum is taken by Galatea’s Tower devoted to the only muse and the artist’s goddess. The tower was completed after other parts of the museum and became a peculiar laboratory of optical experiments of Dali. Their results can be seen in the Hall of optical illusions.
In the Tower carried out Gave the last years of the life, lonely and sad after Gal death. Here is stored his last picture – “A swallow tail “. And here, in the Universe created by him lives the unruly and naughty spirit of Dali.
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