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The Dali Theatre Museum in Figueres

If you’re interested in art, surrealism or you are inspired by Salvador Dali’s work I highly recommend visiting his Theatre Museum in Figueres. You can get to Figures by the Renfe Train which takes about 2 hours from Barcelona. Barcelona is a beautiful city and a piece of architectural art in itself, but Dali’s museum is unlike any museum you would have ever seen before and is worth the trip. If you don’t want to stay in the beautiful city of Figueres, you can easily spend a day here and make your way back to Barcelona.

This museum is an amazing museographical model created by Dali’s specific design to enhance the semantic possibilities of his creations. It is a space that is full of impressions, authenticity and provocations that manage to captivate the interest of all of it’s visitors. The Dali Theatre Museum opened it’s doors in 1974 and was the location of the first Exhibition of Dali’s life. It was only fitting for him to build his Museum here; in his hometown and place of birth.

When you arrive at the Figueres Renfe Train station you will find it very easy to make your way to the museum, it is also quite hard to miss the stunning geodesic cupola pictured above. There are street signs that help direct you and I recommend getting there earlier as it is common to get stuck in the long lines.

Wonder around the city if you have time, Dali’s sculptures are also scattered around the city.  If you are lucky enough the local street market might be running, selling some amazing foods.

As you walk into the museum you will be greeted by the impressive central Courtyard is the old stalls section of the Theatre. It is dominated by the vertical installation and imposing Cadillac called Rainy Taxi. From the courtyard going up the ramp we reach the space under the Cupola.

As you work your way through the labyrinth you will come to Treasure Room upholstered in red velvet, this room contains some of the most important works in the Dali Museum.

You will then be lead through to the Fishmongers’ crypt where you will pass the feather collage on paper, Head of Beethoven (1973), a large work created by throwing live octopus on paper. Also exhibited is the Christmas Card series produced for the Hoechst company and the series of jewellery that Dali designed. The last room in this section is the crypt overlooked by Salvador Dali’s tomb stone where he is entombed.

Following this you come to the Mae West Room, this is one of the most popular in the Theatre where you can take in the three dimensional creation of the Face of Mae West apartment scene. Here you will find installations from floor to ceiling almost a forebear of popart.

Moving to the Second Floor we find a collection of engravings, continuing through to the spiral stairway displaying the Dior fancy dress.  Third Floor we can visit the Masterpieces room collected from different periods and by different artists displays with deliberate chronological disorder. Walk through the corridors and you will find more sculptures, paintings and silhouettes of the characters that appear in his oil paintings.

This will bring you through to the Palace of the Wind, Salvador Dali has a special fondness for this room as it was here in 1919 that he has his first exhibition at fourteen years of age. Sharing this room with two other painters if it dominated by the impressive ceiling painting from which it gets it’s name.

Torre Galatea, the last section in the museum is a more austere space and more in line with typical museum conventions. This is where you will find the optical illusions room. You will also find the shrine room which Dali intended to avoid natural light to create mystery by covering the windows with fabric.

Jewels is the new rooms of the Theatre-museum that displays the collection designed by Dali. The room has been deliberately darkened and each jewel is paired with a splendid preparatory drawing. “The pieces adorned the jewels, were created to please the sight, extol the spirit, awaken the imagination and express convictions. Without a public, without the presence of spectators, these jewels would not fulfill the function for which they were created. The spectator therefore becomes the final artist. Their vision, their heart, their mind; which are fused and captured with greater or lesser understanding that creators intention; gives them life.” – Salvador Dali.