Gala, the ultimate muse of Salvador Dalí
Gala, wife and muse to Salvador Dalí, was born in Russia on August 26, 1894. She was an inspiration to surrealist artists and was first married to the poet, Paul Eluard. She was also Max Ernst’s mistress.
Dalí fell madly in love with her when he invited Eluard and Gala to Spain in the summer of 1929. Dalí wrote in The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí: “She was destined to be my Gradiva*, the one who moves forward, my victory, my wife.”
They moved to the United States in the 40s. Gala played an essential role in Dalí’s success: she was the one who organized exhibitions, supervised sales of his paintings, managed meetings with journalists and photographers, arranged business agreements.
In 1958, Dalí and Gala were married religiously in the Àngels chapel near Girona, and together, they created their surrealist house in Portlligat.
In 1968, the painter bought a castle for Gala in Púbol, and it was agreed that he would not visit her without previous written permission. Gala died in 1982 and was buried at the castle. In 1996, the castle became the Gala-Dalí Home Museum in Púbol and was opened to the public. Gala put the genius to work and revealed Dalí to himself: “Gala discovers and brings me all of the essences that I convert into the honey of my thought in the busy hive of my brain. If it were not for Gala, today, the world would be without a genius: Dalí would not exist”.
* This name comes from the title of a novel by W. Jensen, whose main character is Sigmund Freud: Gradiva is the heroine and she contributes to the psychological healing of the protagonist.