Portlligat, Girona counties, Catalonia, Spain

Portlligat is a town in the municipality of Cadaqués (Alt Empordà), located geographically in Cap de Creus. This place is known internationally for being the place of residence of Salvador Dalí. In what was his home today you can visit the Salvador Dalí House Museum. Salvador Dalí lived in that house that he himself designed, a few hours north of Barcelona, in the Costa Brava region. Dalí lived here from 1930 until the death of his wife in 1982, and the somewhat incoherent collection of three fishermen’s huts is now a museum offering a small glimpse into his unique life.

Dalí was quoted as saying that the sun rose over his bed earlier than anywhere else in Spain, as he put his head down towards the easternmost point of Spain (obviously he was referring to peninsular Spain. The easternmost point of Spain is on the island of Menorca). He devised an ingenious multiple mirror system so that the first rays of the morning sunlight would hit the house directly.

The orography of Portlligat is characterized by a small bay sheltered from the Mediterranean Sea by a small island, the Isle of Portlligat, an image that was immortalized by the Empordà painter in some of his works.

The orography of Portlligat is characterized by a small bay separated from the Mediterranean by the “plug” that make the great island of Portlligat (image that was immortalized by Dalí in some of his works, such as The Madonna of Portlligat, Crucifixion and The last dinner), and the little Sa Farnera. The entrance to Portlligat Bay by sea is the canal that opens between Sa Farnera and the coast, but it can also be accessed by the small passage between Portlligat Island and the coast, Ses Buquelles, although, due to its shallow depth and the large number of rocks that guard it, it is only suitable for very small boats. Portlligat is one of the areas where little lepidolite is found.

Given its geography, Portlligat is very popular and this has traditionally been the base of many of the fishermen of Cadaqués, with fishing mainly for lobster, but currently very few remain moored there. Portlligat is currently known internationally for having been the place of residence of Salvador Dalí in the house now called Salvador Dalí House-Museum, which can be visited. Some fishermen’s huts are preserved and there are two hotels. It is therefore, and eminently, a tourist place where, on the other hand, the buildings that have been built there are sparse and barely visible from the sea or the shore. The poet Rosa Leveroni also lived there, buried in the local cemetery.

Salvador Dalí i Domènech
Salvador Dalí (Figueres, Catalonia, May 11 from 1 904 – 23 January of 1989) was a painter, sculptor, decorator, writer and thinker Catalan, who became one of the leading representatives of surrealism. His painting skills are often attributed to his influence and admiration for Renaissance art. Dalí had the ability to forge a personal and recognizable style. He considered himself a better writer than a painter and asserted that if he had to go down in history he preferred to do so as a thinker; his comic attitude, however, if on the one hand he catapulted him to a fame never seen before, on the other he seriously hindered the study of his philosophy and reflection.

In painting, one of his best known works is The Persistence of Memory, also called The Soft Clocks, which dates from 1931. In writing, his major work is considered to be the autobiography Secret Life of Salvador Dalí, which dates from 1942 and begins by saying: “At six I wanted to be a cook, at seven Napoleon, and my ambition has not stopped growing since then.” His greatest works, in which he worked until the last years of his life, were the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres and himself. Although his main means of expression were painting and writing, he also made forays into the fields of film, sculpture, fashion, jewelry, decoration, advertising, humor, and art. cultural agitation and theater, a discipline in which he worked as a costume designer and as a stage designer.

He knew how to work the public side enormously. His wife and muse, Gala Dalí, was capital both in his artistic ascendancy and, above all, intellectual and economic. This theme earned him the nickname “Avida Dollars” (anagram of Salvador Dalí). His public appearances, be they scandalous lectures, interviews or happenings, did not leave anyone indifferent; its relationship of convenience, albeit disguisedly mocking, with the Franco regime, either. A surreal and multifaceted icon of the 20th century.

He was born the 11th of May of 1904 at number six the Monturiol street of the city of Figueres, capital of the region of the Alt Emporda. Dalí’s older brother, also known as Salvador, died of meningitis at the age of seven, three years before the artist’s birth. His father, Salvador Dalí i Cusí (1872–1950), was a pioneer of the Esperanto movement in Catalonia. Notary of the city and a native of Cadaqués, had a strict and disciplinary character that was softened by his wife, Felipa Domènech i Ferrés (1874–1921), who encouraged his son’s artistic efforts. At the age of five, his parents took him to his brother’s grave and told him that he was his reincarnation, which he came to believe. Of his brother, Dalí commented: “I have lived death before living life. My brother died of meningitis, at the age of seven, three years before my birth we looked like two drops of water, only with different reflections. Dalí also had a sister, Anna Maria Dalí, three years younger than him, in 1949he published a book about his brother, entitled Dalí visto por su hermana.

Dalí studied high school at the Institut Ramon Muntaner in Figueres, where he participated in the production of the magazine Studium and where he also received his first artistic training with Professor Juan Núñez. In 1916, he discovered modern painting during a summer stay in Cadaqués with the family of Ramon Pichot, a local artist who often traveled to Paris. Fruit of this period, is the work Landscape of Cap de Creus, which is in the Abelló Museum, in Mollet del Vallès. In 1919, Dalí exhibited for the first time as part of a public group exhibition at the Teatre Municipal de Figueres. His first solo exhibition would be a few years later, in 1925, at the Dalmau Galleries in Barcelona. During this apprenticeship in Figueres, he had a relationship with Carme Roget, daughter of the costume photographer Narcís Roget. In 1921, Dalí’s mother died of breast cancer when he was only sixteen. After his death, Dalí’s father married his wife’s sister, Caterina Domènech i Ferrés, which Dalí did not like.

Madrid and Paris
In 1922, Dalí moved to the Student Residence and studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando. Dalí was already striking for his eccentricity; she wore long hair and sideburns, and wore a coat, stockings, and trousers in the style of the fashion of the previous century. But his paintings, in which he experimented with Cubism, caught the attention of his fellow students. It is probable that, in his first Cubist works, Dalí did not understand this artistic movement well, since the only information about Cubism came to him through some magazine articles and a catalog given to him by Pichot, since —at that time – there were no cubist painters in Madrid. Dalí also experimented with Dadaism, which influenced his work throughout his life. At the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in San Fernando he met the poet Federico García Lorca, with whom he began a long friendship, and also the film director Luis Buñuel, and the poets Rafael Alberti and José Moreno Villa.

Dalí was expelled from the Academy in 1926, shortly before his final examinations, after claiming that no one from the Academy was competent enough to examine him. That same year he made his first trip to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso, whom the young Dalí revered; Picasso had already heard favorable words about Dalí from Joan Miró. Dalí made a large number of works with a strong influence of Picasso and Miró during the following years, while advancing developing his own style. However, some trends in Dalí’s work that would continue throughout his life were already evident in the 1920s. Dalí devoured influences from all artistic styles he could find and produced works ranging from the most academic classicism to the most cutting-edge avant-garde, sometimes in separate and sometimes combined works. The exhibitions of his works in Barcelona attracted a lot of attention from critics, who mixed the praises with samples of perplexity.

Dalí let grow an extravagant mustache that became an icon of himself, influenced by seventeenth- century Spanish painter Diego Velázquez. That is, delving into the life and love story with Gala and mentioning some curiosities about their relationship, Salvador Dali is that he married his friend’s wife, who was Gala and was his great love until at his death.

Dalí met Gala when she was married to a friend of his who was a French poet and his name was Paul Éluard. Another very curious fact is that his friend was not angry with Salvador Dalí, in fact he even witnessed his wedding. But Salvador Dalí’s father did not approve of her relationship with Gala as she was a mother and was ten years older than Dalí, her anger was so great that it got to the point that she disinherited Dalí. Gala was his muse, he painted countless paintings, signed by mixing the two names, and dedicated many texts. She remained by his side until his death (although they had a sexually open relationship, especially on her part) they were spiritually united. Gala had his own residence in Púbol, where he is said to have been with his lovers, this private residence of Gala was a castle that Dalí gave him on condition that he could only go there if, before, he asked him to letter. Like the ancient customs of courtly love

He collaborated with Luis Buñuel in the making of the film Un chien andalou, released in the city of Paris in 1929, and this film was one of the greatest exponents of surrealism. That same year, a series of key figures in surrealism visited Dalí in the town of Cadaqués, including the poet Paul Éluard and his wife Gala Éluard, whom he seduced the young Catalan painter, making her his muse and companion. for the rest of his life.

Dalí became a point of reference in the surrealist movement. He used more of the fixation of images taken from dreams, according to André Breton “abusing them and endangering the credibility of surrealism.” He invented what he himself called the paranoid-critical method, a mixture between Leonardo Da Vinci’s observation technique, by means of which by observing a wall one could see how shapes arose, and frottage techniques; fruit of this technique are the works in which two images in a single configuration are seen.

Lluís Racionerohe points out that “in the paintings of the period 1928-34 the landscape and the light of the Empordà are of decisive importance. If Dalí’s surrealism surpasses that of Tanguy or Chirico, it is precisely because they have to look for the images within themselves, while Dalí had them in sight: he only needed to combine them in a paranoid-critical way. he himself acknowledges the effects of the country in his dedication to a book of poems by his friend Carles Fages de Climent: “I am divinely touched by the wing, new Prometheus of Port Lligat” ».

In 1936 André Breton expelled Dalí from his surrealist circle for his fascist tendencies, accusing him of defending the “new and irrational” of the Hitler phenomenon, an accusation that Dalí refuted by stating that “I am neither a Hitler nor in fact nor of intention “. The Empordà artist became one of the few intellectuals who supported Francisco Franco when he came to power during the Spanish Civil War. In 1940, due to World War II, he obtained a visa from the Portuguese consul in Bordeaux, Aristides de Sousa Mendes, which allowed him to travel to Lisbon and from there he moved toUnited States of America with Gala, the country where he remained until 1948, a time that is considered one of the most fruitful of his life and in which he published his autobiography The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí.

Return to Catalonia
In 1949 he returned to Catalonia with the approval of the government of Francisco Franco, who used it as political propaganda, which was widely criticized by many intellectuals and progressives. In 1959, André Breton paid tribute to the 40th anniversary of the birth of Surrealism by holding the exhibition Homage to Surrealism, with works by Dalí, Joan Miró, Enrique Tábara and Eugenio Granell. From the 1960s onwards, Dalí not only used painting as a means of expression but also used holography, and was considered by Andy Warhol a source of inspiration for pop art. In 1960, he began his work to create a permanent headquarters for his work, the realization of the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, a museum that was inaugurated in 1974.

Also interested in decoration and image, in 1969 he created the logo for the company Chupa Chups; thus, he was the author of the well-known yellow eight-leaf daisy that contains the red letters, as well as the decoration of the Teatro Real in Madrid during the television broadcast of that year’s Eurovision Song Contest. In 1971 he inaugurated Sala Gaudí Barcelona, the first and largest art gallery in Spain, with the presence of other personalities such as Gabriel García Márquez. It is also at this time that he shows interest in the art of action or happening carrying out projects in Berlin (1967) and Barcelona (666 vs Sagrada Família, in which Vangelis participates) or the action promoted by the Granollers Happening Tribe on 1974 in the capital of the Vallès Oriental and which was recorded by the NO-DO.

In 1981 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia, and in 1982 the King Juan Carlos I of Spain appointed him Marquis of Púbol. Gala’s death on June 10 of 1982 led to the decay of Dali, which from time consistently, upset his health and retired to live from the house of Portlligat in Cadaqués at Púbol Castle, a fortification which Dalí himself had given to Gala. A fire in his room in 1984 caused him to move to some rooms in Torre Galatea, a building attached to the Theater-Museum, where he remained practically confined until his death on January 23, 1989. His last public appearance was at the piano and harp concerto, performed byCarles Coll and Abigail Prat, in which the work Música per Galalina by Jordi Codina was premiered.

It has been reported that Dalí was forced by some of his “caregivers” to sign blank canvases that would be sold after his death as originals. These rumors made the art market skeptical of works attributed to Dalí during his last period. In November 1988, Dalí was admitted due to a heart attack, and on December 5, 1988 he was visited by King Juan Carlos I, who confessed that he had always been a faithful admirer of his work.

On January 23, 1989, listening to his favorite album – Tristan and Isolde, by Wagner – he died due to a cardiorespiratory arrest at the hospital in Figueres, at the age of 84, and closing the circle he was buried (despite to have planned a tomb next to his wife Gala in Púbol) in the crypt of Figueres (“respecting” his last will communicated verbally a few moments before the death of the then mayor of Figueres, Marià Lorca), located in his house -museum. His crypt is on the other side of St. Peter’s Church, where he had been baptized, had received first communion, and where he has rested ever since, three blocks of houses beyond his birthplace. Most of his work was ceded by himself to the Government of Spain. The Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation is currently in charge of managing his legacy. In the United States, the legal person responsible for its representation is the Artist Rights Society.

Dalí described an extensive and personal symbolic universe throughout his work. The soft watches (popular name is known of his work The Persistence of Memory, which had appeared in 1931) were interpreted as a reference to the theory of relativity of Einstein and were supposedly created after observing of pieces of camembert exposed to the sun on a hot August day. Another of its recurring symbols is the elephant, which first appeared in the Dream caused by the flight of a wasp over a grenade a second before waking (1944). Dalinian elephants, inspired by the obelisk of Romeby Gian Lorenzo Bernini, usually appear with “long legs, almost invisible with desire”, and carrying obelisks on their backs. Together with these delicate limbs, the obelisks, in which some have wanted to see a symbol, create a ghostly sense of unreality.

“The elephant is a distortion in space,” explains Dalí in Dalí and Dawn Ades’s Surrealism, “with sharp legs that contrast with the idea of weightlessness, defined without the slightest aesthetic concern. I’m creating something that inspires me with a deep emotion and with which I try to paint honestly. Another of its recurring symbols is the egg. It links to the concepts of intrauterine prenatal life and sometimes refers to a symbol of hope and which is how it is interpreted in his Narcissus Metamorphosis. He also resorted to images of animals throughout his work: ants as a symbol of death, corruption, and intense desire; the snail as a human head (he had seen a snail on a bicycle in Sigmund Freud’s gardenwhen he went to visit him); and locusts as a symbol of decay and terror.

His painting is characterized by meticulousness in drawing, an almost photographic meticulousness in the treatment of details, the use of bright and luminous colors and the representation of everyday objects and images, in unsuspected and surprising compositional forms.

Dalí produced nearly 1,500 paintings throughout his career, as well as dozens of illustrations for books, lithographs, set designs, costumes, and a huge number of drawings, sculptures, and parallel projects. In photography and cinema. Also, encouraged by his friend Federico García Lorca, Dalí attempted literary creation in a “pure novel”: in his only literary work, Dalí describes in showy terms the intrigues and entanglements of a group of eccentric aristocrats. and frivolous that, with their luxurious and sophisticated lifestyle, represent the decline of the 1930s.

His work is known all over the world and many of it can be seen at the Gala Dalí Salvador Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, others – ceded by inheritance to Spain – were included in the collection of the Reina Sofia Museum.

Dalí in design and fashion
Dalí, throughout his life and work, maintained an extensive and intense relationship with the polymorphic world of fashion. In his permanent desire to materialize the unlimited inventive capacity that distinguished him, he explored the most heterogeneous creative registers around everything related to fashion, leaving in each of them its peculiar style and brand.. Among the Dalinian inventions in the field of what we might call virtual fashion.

Salvador Dalí House-Museum
The Salvador Dalí House-Museum is a small fishermen’s house in Portlligat, where Salvador Dalí lived and worked regularly from 1930 until Gala’s death in 1982. It is currently a museum and managed by the Gala-Salvador Foundation. Dalí. The current Portlligat House-Museum was the only stable house of Salvador Dalí; the place where he lived and worked regularly until in 1982, with the death of Gala, he established his residence in the Castle of Púbol.

The building
In 1930, as a result of the rupture of relations with his father, and attracted by the landscape, the light and the isolated places, Salvador Dalí decided to leave Paris and look for an own house in Portlligat. With the 20,000 French francs advanced to him by the Viscount of Noailles in exchange for the painting The Old Age of Guillem Tell, Dalí bought a fisherman’s hut from the widow of a local sailor, Lídia Noguer, and settled there. • Lar. In Portlligat, Dalí and his wife Gala exchanged Parisian society and activities for a life of asceticism and isolation.

From the initial construction he acquired other huts and so, little by little, for forty years, until obtaining the present house, that he defined “like a true biological structure”. The successive modifications and additions, devised jointly by Dalí and Gala, gave shape to a labyrinthine structure that, from a point of origin, the Saló de l’Óssa, was dispersed through a succession of small connected rooms. by narrow corridors, small level changes and sack asses. The decoration consists of a whole set of unconnected objects that Dalí himself was collecting throughout his life.

All the rooms have openings of different shapes and proportions, which frame the bay of Portlligat, a place that is a constant reference in Dalí’s work. In this house, Dalí received visitors from all over the world, such as Walt Disney, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, King Humbert of Savoy or Queen Elizabeth of Belgium.

The museum
The house is divided into three types of spaces. First the rooms where Dalí spent the most intimate moments of his life: the rooms on the ground floor and rooms 7 to 12; then the Workshop, in rooms 5 and 6, where you will find all kinds of articles related to your artistic activity. In third place are the outdoor spaces (Room 13 and courtyards 14 and 15), designed specifically for public life. The current Portlligat House-Museum was the only stable house of Salvador Dalí; the place where he lived and worked habitually until, in 1982, with the death of Gala, he established his residence in the Castle of Púbol. Salvador Dalí settled in 1930 in a small fisherman’s hut in Portlligat, attracted by the landscape, the light and the isolation of the place. From this initial construction, for 40 years he was creating his house. As he defined it, it was “like a true biological structure. Each new impulse in our life corresponded to a new cell, a chamber.”

The resulting shape is the current labyrinthine structure that, from a point of origin, the Bear Hall, is dispersed and twisted in a succession of spaces chained by narrow steps, small slopes and dead ends.. These spaces, filled with countless objects and memories of the Dalí, are decorated with resources that make them especially warm: mats, lime, dried flowers, velvet upholstery, antique furniture, etc. In addition, all the rooms have openings, of different shapes and proportions, which frame the same landscape, a constant reference in Dalí’s work: Portlligat Bay. Regarding his usual residence, Salvador Dalí stated: “Portlligat is the place of accomplishments. It is the perfect place for my work. Everything is conjured so that it is so: time passes more slowly and every hour has its fair dimension. There is a geological tranquility: it is a unique planetary case. ”

In 1930 Dalí looked for his own house and moved to Portlligat, in the fishermen’s hut sold to him by Lídia Noguer. The house is actually a shack with a dilapidated roof, where Lydia’s children keep the fishing moorings. To acquire the house in Portlligat Dalí used the 20,000 French francs that the Viscount of Noailles, as patron, decided to advance to him in exchange for a painting that will be, finally, The Old Age of Guillem Tell. Dalí narrates the difficulties of getting to Portlligat from Paris in his autobiography La Vida Secreta by Salvador Dalí where he also talks about the house project: “our house had to consist of a piece of about four square meters which was to serve as a dining room, bedroom, workshop and lobby, a few steps were climbed and, on a landing, they opened three doors that communicated with a shower, a toilet and a kitchen of just the right dimensions to be able to move around. I wanted it to be very small, the smaller the more intrauterine”.

In 1932, Dalí repaired the second hut he had bought a few months later. This first cell of the house serves as an entrance, dining room, living room, workshop and bedroom. Steps lead to a small kitchen and a small bathroom. In 1932, the house consists of two huts and a small annex, which corresponds to the current distributor. In the olive grove, he builds two rows of small cylindrical columns and the tile railings that consolidate some terraces. In 1935, the Dalís, with the intention of enlarging the house, contacted the builder Emili Puignau who, from that moment on, would be the executor of the works. He will be in charge of building the two buildings that correspond to the workshop ̶̶ currently the Yellow Room ̶̶, and the Bedroom – now the Bird Room ̶̶, which will be finished in the summer of the following year.

With the outbreak of the Civil War, Dalí and Gala moved to the United States and did not return to Portlligat until the end of 1948. That year, the Dalís bought a new hut, also about twenty-two. square meters that, in 1949, became the current Library and Living Room, as well as an extension of land that corresponds to part of the Oliverar. In the spring of 1949 the house was ready to be inhabited. Gala takes care of the decoration of the house and buys numerous pieces of furniture from different antique dealers in Olot and La Bisbal.

From 1949 the house grows according to the needs of Dalí. Three more huts are added to the existing set. The new, current and definitive Workshop was built, which was completed in the spring of 1950. In 1951, with the kitchen almost finished, the Bedroom over the Library began, and in 1952, the other service areas. In 1954 the construction of the Colomar was completed and the following year they bought the “Barraca del Rellotge”, which is preserved as it was until the current remodeling to become the Slogan of the House-Museum.

As for the “Milky Way”, in the Diary of a Genius we already find a first reference, which corresponds to the year 1956 and, in 1958, two years later, the year of the execution, Dalí returns to speak: it is a white lime road parallel to the sea, the beginning of which is marked by a pomegranate tree. The courtyard and the wall that enclose it – with the idea of turning this space into an inaccessible enclosure – were built around 1960. In the summer of 1961, the Oval Room, almost hemispherical, was finished, based on a design that artist had done in 1957 for a party hall in Acapulco; in 1963, the Summer Dining Room; and the Swimming Pool, which was designed in 1969, was completed in the summer of 1971, although Dalí will be working on it and changing certain aspects of it. The time of maximum splendor of this singular field,

In the house three areas can be differentiated: where the most intimate part of the life of the Dalí passed, ground floor and Rooms from the 7 to the 12; the Studio, Rooms 5 and 6, with a multitude of objects related to artistic activity; and the outdoor spaces, Room 13 and Courtyards 14 and 15, specially designed for public life.

Since August 4, 2009 you can visit another space located in the Olivar area, this circular construction was used by the artist as an additional workshop, especially for sculptures and performances. The glass skylights allowed Dalí to paint his feet. An example is the one that appears in the Palau del Vent (the Noble Room of the Theater-Museum of Figueres). On the outside of the turret, he embedded earthenware vessels with holes so that they could whistle when the north wind blew. Inside you can see a piano that Dalí had used in some artistic actions, and two projectors have been installed that simultaneously show audiovisuals of the artist: reports from the 60s and 70s with Dalí and the house of Portlligat as protagonists.