In addition to having the world’s most famous moustache, Salvador Dali is also known for surrealist perspective in his works. Some may label him as a madman, others praise his eccentricity but clearly, Dali is one of the prominent artists that shaped the surrealist movement. Far from realism and rationalism, Dali’s work focused on using imagination and the harnessing images derived from the subconscious, drawing inspiration from the likes of Sigmund Freud.
The Dali Theatre and Museum is the museum of Salvador Dali located in his home town of Figueres. The museum used to house the town’s theater during Dali’s childhood, also a place where Dali held some of his early public exhibitions. The old theater was burned during the Spanish Civil War and was in state of ruins until Dali and the mayor of Figueres decided to rebuild it as a museum in 1960. The museum was officially opened on September 28, 1974.
The Creation of the Museum
When the then mayor of Figueres, Ramon Gardiola asked Dali to donate one of his work to Museu de l’Empordà, the artist remarked that he would donate not a single work but rather a whole museum to his home town.
“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 baptised; and third, because it was precisely in the hall of the vestibule of the theatre where I hosted my first exhibition,” he said.
From the ruins of the theatre rose a museum that captures Dali’s eccentricity, of which gives guests a glimpse of his surreal and mystical world. A glass geodesic dome crowns the former stage of the theater whereas the seats that were once occupied by audience have been transformed into a courtyard, decorated with Dionysian figurines alongside an automobile installation.
I went to the museum quite early so I had extra time to roam and spend more time observing each piece of art. Contrary to what I read in the internet, the museum did not have any queues nor large groups of people visiting that day.
The museum exhibits the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work which compose of paintings from all the decades of his career as well as art present in his personal collection. Aside from his paintings, the museum also showcases Dali’s sculpture, mechanical devices, books and three-dimensional installations.
There are more than 1,000 works displayed in the museum and it is probably best to spend at least two hours inside the museum. You can go with a guided tour if you want to, but it is also interesting to explore the museum by yourself.
(To be continued)