Gala the Russian, tyrant by Salvador Dalí

Gala the Russian, tyrant by Salvador Dalí

When the unfortunate story of an alleged daughter of Dalí claiming her share of the inheritance emerged, I was in Figueres, in the province of Girona, where the great painter was born in 1904 and where his body would soon be exhumed, embalmed with so much mustache curled with gel. The DNA test would have ruled out the presumed paternity of Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, but in the meantime - curious, in the midst of throngs of tourists - I went to look for his tomb by entering the Theater Museum with the famous transparent dome, the overturned lifeboat in the air in the middle of the courtyard and the castaways upside down. All around, the walls of a clay-red castle edged, like the towers, with giant white eggs. Personally designed down to the smallest detail, the museum contains a large part of the toys of the Marqués de Dalí de Púbol, who has been present for eternity since his burial, and who knows if with a shiver of pleasure, to the inexhaustible bustle of visitors. There, for the first time, I had seen the omnipresent Gala, measuring the evolution of portraits of her, who now emerges from a rough wooden board with an olive grove in her hair, in the sketched portrait of 1933. Then she climbs into the apotheosis of the decade later and becomes "Galarina", painted in 1945 in the pose of Raphael's "Fornarina", with only one bare breast. And here she was deified in 1949, "Atomic Leda" seized by the swan in her classic proportions, to then shell and break up like a galaxy of planets in the "Galatea delle sphere" of 1952. In the autobiographical story of Dalí who was not yet forty, published in 1942, the master had presented his woman to the world as "an authentic miracle"as the only being who "has reached a level of life comparable to the serene perfections of the Renaissance", as "Gala-Gradiva, the one who advances", the access key to his unconscious world, the one who - initiating him to love - it had cured him of madness and turned him from crime.

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