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Gala Russian muse of Dali

Gala Russian muse of Dali

Black and white drawing by Sergey Parfeniuk. Gala Russian muse of Dali

Gala Russian muse of Dali
“I name my wife: Gala, Galushka, Gradiva. Oliva, for the oval shape of her face and the colour of her skin. Oliveta, diminutive for Olive. And its delirious derivatives Oliueta, Oriueta, Buribeta, Buriueteta, Suliueta, Solibubuleta, Oliburibuleta, Ciueta, and Liueta. I also call her Lionette, because when she gets angry she roars like the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion”.

Born on 7 September 1894 in Kazan, Russian Empire, Elena Ivanovna Diakonova became known as Gala Dali. She was not only Dali’s muse, but also a muse for poets and artists. Her religion was Russian Orthodox and she was the daughter of a high-ranking officer of the Russian administration.
First, she was the wife of Paul Eluard – a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement. The couple had a daughter, Cecile (born in 1918). Then Gala married Salvador. After living together since 1929, Dali and Gala married in a civil ceremony in 1934, and remarried in a Catholic ceremony in 1958 in Montrejic.
However, they needed to receive a special dispensation by the Pope because Gala had been previously married. According to belief, when they met at Costa Brava in 1929, Dali was a virgin, due to his purported phobia of female genitalia.

Paul Eluard and Gala

Paul Eluard and Gala

In 1912 she went to a sanatorium in Switzerland for the treatment of tuberculosis. There she met Paul Eluard and fell in love with him. They both were seventeen. In 1916, during World War I she travelled from Russia to Paris to reunite with him, they got married one year later. Unfortunately, Gala mistreated and ignored their daughter, Cecile, born in 1918.

In 1958 Dali and Gala married at the Angels chapel, near Girona. In 1968 the painter bought a castle in Pubol, Girona for her. Besides, according to agreement, the painter could not go there without her prior permission in writing to do so. Meanwhile, between 1971 and 1980, Gala would spend periods of time at her castle, always in summer.
And it was there that Dali buried Gala after her death in 1982. Since 1996 the castle became open to the public as the Gala-Dali Castle House Museum in Pubol.

Gala Russian muse of Dali