The house that Dali built
"Always in the air, dress and undress your brush
before the sea peopled with sailors and ships"
Salvador Dali followed the advice of his friend. It happened four years later.
Why is it that artist's house was here, on this wild shore far from civilization?
The beaches of Cadaques remained as the most magical memories of his childhood. Salvador Dali often described this place in his diary as the only place where he felt "deep calmness".
The first house of Dali and Gala was a fishing shack of about 20 square meters. Dali called it a "biological structure". To the first
"cage" it has gradually been added the second and third, from 1935 to 1960 the house and terraces around it were constantly under reconstruction. But the view from the windows of the studio always remained unchanged — the view of the Bay of Port Lligat with barges and fishermen as Lorca bequeathed once.
The house stands in an olive grove on the hillside, and it took the whole day to get here on mountain serpentines from Figueiras. Can we call it a house? It looks like huts, one taped to another, each year bleached with lime anew both inside and outside according to the local tradition of lime. There`s a garden near the house, terraces on the hill, planted with olive trees, white path to the sea with the imprint of Gala`s hand and foot, called the "milky way". In the main courtyard there`s a sundial on a rickety wall, the skeleton of the ship with a cypress growing through it.
The inside of the house differs from what you might imagine as the home and studio of the flamboyant surrealist Salvador Dali.
The sofa in the form of the famous "Dali lips" covered with green fabric, the crossbow on the wall — the character of one of his paintings. It is the first "cage" where it all began. It once housed kitchen, bedroom and studio. The stairs leads upto the dining room passing into the library. While Dali was painting, Gala usually read to him the "great authors". "I wasn’t listening, but was immersed in the sounds of words", Dali wrote.
There are several reproductions in the house, one of them being "Atomic Leda"(Leda Atomica), first exhibited in New York. Dali considered "Leda" as one of his first masterpieces. In order to understand it the master
advised to read the book "50 magic secrets of writing".
Leda Atomica, 1949
The picture depicts Leda, the mythological queen of Sparta, with the swan. Leda is a frontal portrait of Dalí's wife, Gala, who is seated on a pedestal with a swan suspended behind and to her left.
Dali himself described "Leda Atomica" as a picture created "in accordance with the modern ‘nothing touches' theory of intra atomic Physics". "Leda does not touch the swan; Leda does not touch the pedestal; the pedestal does not touch the base; the base does not touch the sea; the sea does not touch the shore.. . ."
Dali reveals his idea about what should the artist`s workshop be like. The secret is quite simple, "the main thing is to fall madly in love with the scenery outside the window of the studio." It is really hard to disagree with Salvador Dali, as the scenery outside the window makes you fall in love with it from first sight. Indeed, the genius has found its place.
Port of Cadaques (Night), c.1918
The Llané beach in Cadaqués (1921)