Salvador Dalí, the pioneer of Surrealism and one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, was born in Figueres on 11th May 1904. Throughout his life, and despite having a career that took him all over the world - including Paris and America - he always returned to the Costa Brava.
It was in Cadaqués in 1929 that Dalí met Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, a Russian emigrant who was married at the time to a colleague from the Surrealist group. Dalí and 'Gala', as she was called here, fell in love and she became his muse, model and later, wife. Dalí and Gala soon bought their first property in the area, an old fisherman's hut surrounded by pines and olive trees just up the coast in the bay of Port Lligat.
In 1973, Dalí inaugurated his most ambitious project: the Casa-Museu Dalí, in Figueres. The museum provides a special insight into Dalí's world. "It is the best way to understand his work."
The Portlligat Museum-House was Salvador Dalí’s only fixed abode, the place in which he usually lived and worked up till 1982, when Gala died, he took up residence at Púbol Castle.
Some of the most famous works include the paintings 'The Spectre of Sex-Appeal' (1932), 'Soft Self-Portrait with Fried Bacon' (1941) and 'Galatea of the Spheres' (1952). There are also fantastical sculptures and compositions such as the Mae West Room and the menacing gargoyle in the museum's courtyard. Work by other artists include a space dedicated to Dali's close friend Antoni Pitxot, who inspired Dalí to become an artist.
Three different areas can be distinguished in the house: the part where the couple’s more private life happened, on the ground floor and rooms 7 to 12; the studio, rooms 5 and 6, with numerous objects related to Dali's artistic activity; and the outside areas, room 13 and courtyards 14 and 15, designed to live a public life.
Dalí died in Figueres, on 23rd January 1989.