How do you like your eggs? Going by the picture above of the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, it seems the famous artist liked his on top of buildings! In this post, we take you inside the Dalí Theatre-Museum…
Salvador Dalí is undoubtedly one of the best known artists in the world. Most famous for his surrealist works, it’s these that are likely to confound and/or inspire a sense of clarity in equal measure. At least, they do for me!
If you’re a Dalí fan, art lover or even if you’re just interested in the more curious things in life, than a visit to the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, his hometown, is a definite must-do.
Roll up! Roll up! Welcome to the theatre of Dalí
The Dalí Theatre-Museum is described as the largest surrealist object in the world. Normally, describing a building as an object would seem strange. But this is Salvador Dalí’s world and the museum building is both an object of art and a museum housing objects of art.
Long before it was his museum, it was the town’s theatre and was one of the first places to exhibit Dalí’s work. So, he was already closely connected to it. This may help explain why what is left of the theatre remains at the heart of the museum. Of course, he could also have just loved the idea of his museum being a place of drama. Indeed, his body is buried in a crypt beneath the old theatre stage.
Dalí’s art as Dalí wanted you to experience it
There aren’t many artists who have been able to showcase their work exactly how they want it to be experienced. Salvador Dalí, however, had a major role in the design and curation of the museum. And this makes visiting it extra special.
As well as giant eggs, features of the building include Oscar-like statues, loaves of bread and a great glass dome.
Inside the Dalí Theatre-Museum
On entering, you’re given a guide and map with a suggested route. But there is also a gentle warning saying you might want to ignore the suggested route given Dalí’s eccentricities! For the most part, I think I did follow the route conscious of wanting to make sure I got to see every room. But you will inevitably follow where your instincts and eye draw you.
For some of the pieces, I found myself wanting to return to them after I’d initially moved on. I’d just catch a different perspective or spot something I didn’t notice before as I moved around the space. I also appreciated how us, as the viewer, would be directed to experience his work. For instance, in the Mae West room, you’re only able to get the full impact of it by viewing the room through a piece of curved glass that you have to walk up a short staircase to look through. The glass acts like a fisheye lens so you can see the whole room through it.
For those who aren’t so familiar with the breadth of his work, there are some fabulous collections of his drawings as well as some of his non-surrealist work. You also get an insight into how he created his illusions.
There are also a number of pieces paying homage to Gala, Dalí’s companion, muse and wife. Here’s one of his portraits of her from the back and his ‘soft’ self-portrait.
Dalí’s Theatre-Museum is really unlike any place you’ll visit. It’s whimsical, engaging, thought-provoking and just a bit bonkers. I do very much appreciate his artwork and his role in the history of art. And whilst there is a lot about his work that still confounds me, I can’t help but be drawn to it.
Don’t leave before visiting Dalí’s jewels too
As well as a couple of other Dalí museums in Northern Catalonia that you can visit, there is also another Dalí exhibition just steps from the Dalí-Theatre Museum. Called Dalí Joies (Dali Jewels), it showcases a collection of jewellery he designed and features around 40 pieces plus drawings of his designs. It’s fabulous! So much so, we have a separate post on it, which you can see here: Dali Jewels Collection in Figueres.
For more information on Dalí museums in the region, visit: salvador-dali.org.
Visiting the Dalí Theatre-Museum
Gala-Salvador Dalí Square, 5
Opening hours and ticket prices
Opening hours: The opening hours change depending on the season but you can find all you need to know here. During the peak summer months, it’s worth considering staying the night in Figueres and visiting at night when it opens from 10.00pm to 1.00am. It’ll add another level to your visit and is likely to be less crowded than during the day.
Standard admission price is €14 and includes entrance to the Dali Joies exhibition. You can book tickets in advance for a particular day and entrance time in advance on their website.
Getting to Figueres, car parking and public transport
Figueres is a small town located just off the A9 or A2/N-II. The A9 is a toll road so if you want to avoid paying, take the A2/N-II. Figueres is well sign-posted and the museum is in the city centre. Figueres is about half an hour’s drive from Girona and an hour and a half’s drive from Barcelona. There are a couple of fee-paying car parks very close to the museum. And you can find a map of car parks in and around Figueres here.
If you’re arriving by bus or train, the museum is less than 15 minutes walk away from both Figueres train station and bus station.