Sunday, May 23, 2010

Barcelona - Dali Museum in Figueres

By the last day of our vacation, we had basically seen everything that was of interest to us in Barcelona (a few places multiple times), so we planned a road trip. We took the RENFE train to Figueres to visit the Dali Museum. Europe seems to have the most efficient railway systems. I've taken their trains on several vacations now and I've never known the trains to be significantly delayed, or late by more than a few minutes.

As expected, the Dali museum was wild and wacky, just like Dali himself, and his weird surrealistic art. As we approached, we first saw a reddish building topped by what looked like hard-boiled eggs and golden Academy Award trophies. Inside was four floors of paintings, sculptures and drawings. Included were his signature images such as the melting clocks, and the Mae West room with the eyes, nose and lips furniture, framed by an archway of blond hair.

Dali seemed fascinated with optical illusions as shown with displays of holograms, 3D images and pictures that morph into other images depending on how you look at them. A great example of this was a huge portrait of a the back side of his wife Gala, which turns into Abraham Lincoln if you look at a certain angle, or if look at it through a camera lens. No matter what angle I tried, I could only see Lincoln through my camera. But now when I look at a larger version of the photo I took, I see the woman again but a smaller version shows Lincoln ... very cool. Many of his works require you to concentrate and interpret what you are looking at. He had a series of paintings that looked like landscapes of rock formations from afar, but became images of reclining bodies from up close.

The Dali museum is definitely worth the 2 hour train ride, and Figueres is a quaint pleasant town as well. Prior to visiting the museum, we had cafe amb llet (Coffee with milk) and pain du chocolat in the local bakery that was so popular there was a constant lineup out the door. We also walked through an antique toy market sale that was held in a pretty square on their main pedestrian street (la Rambla).

1 comment:

  1. Some pretty designs alright. Doing the painting yourselves is more fun but a good place for ideas for more design is this site of, that I use to help with my wall decorations.
    You can browse for a painting like this The tree, by 20th century Czech artist, Frantisek Kupka, for example, , that can be ordered on line and delivered to you.