Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dali Theatre Museum (Spain) and Collioure

For some time, there are two places that have intrigued us and today we visited both - in different countries! Our first stop was nearly a two hour drive south, in the Spanish town of Figueres. Here stands the largest surrealist monument in the world, the Dali Theatre Museum. Figueres in Catalonia, Spain was Dali's hometown and it is here that the most spectacular collection of his works is housed in a museum designed by Dali himself. It opened in 1974 and continued to be updated during the 1980's. Dali died in 1989. His crypt is in the museum.

The museum was unique, extravagant, self-indulgent,intriguing and off-beat. There seemed to be no medium Dali did not explore - and master. He created a prolific amount of work, ranging from jewellery, sculpture, paintings, furniture and objets d'art.  His wife, Gala, was clearly an inspiration and source for many of his pieces but eggs, animals, gold and optical illusions also feature heavily. We were mesmerised.

Heading home from Spain to Carcassonne, our goal was to visit the southern French beach of Collioure. Collioure is the subject of the beautiful watercolour painting Brett and the children gave me for my birthday earlier this year, painted by local artist Ray Smith. It is a famous spot for artists, as it features an unusual church bell tower on the point and offers a soft, unique light.

Arriving around 4pm at Collioure, although a cloudy day, we were immediately struck by the relaxed beauty of the surrounding town, boats, beach and mountains. Families, couples, old men, ladies walking their dogs and even a boys scout group strolled and climbed the seascape. Dotted occasionally along the walls were framed prints of masters such as Henri Matisse, who frequently used Collioure as the subject of their works.

Dali Theatre Museum, Figueres, Spain

Sean and Brett at the Dali Museum

A portrait of Dali's father

One of the many Dali jewelled sculptures

Dali's crypt, Dali Museum

Optical illusion of Mae West's face

Dali bed creation

Dali explored all media

Dali sculpture - a bit turn-about

Obscure archway to one of the 22 rooms, Dali Museum

Opulent room of the Dali Museum

Brett with a Dali painting he once tried to copy for an art project

A BEATING jewelled heart

A Dali jewelled clock brooch

Beautiful Collioure, on the French Meditteranean

Tricia overlooking Collioure's iconic bell tower

Brett, Eloise and Sean at Collioure

Tricia and Brett at Collioure

Sailing on Collioure's crystal waters

Collioure's Eglise de Notre-Dame-des-Anges ( Our Lady of the Angels), 1684

Boy scouts receive a lesson at Collioure

Boy scouts climb the viewing frame and steps at Collioure

Sean anticipates the view through one of Collioure's viewing frames

Crucifix protecting Collioure's shores

Collioure's carousel and shore

Henri Matisse was enamoured with Collioure - above and below

Collioure's bell tower and carousel
Sadly, today it was too cold to enjoy the crystal clear waters of Collioure. Our time there, however was lovely. A few postcards, many photos and some special memories of Collioure were all we needed.                   Tricia

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