Gala-Russian muse of Dali
Gala-Russian muse of Dali. Elena Ivanovna Diakonova or Gala Dali was born on 7 September 1894 in Kazan, Russian Empire. 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. Their daughter, Cecile, was 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. They needed to receive a special dispensation by the Pope because Gala had been previously married. Due to his purported phobia of female genitalia, Dali was said to have been a virgin when they met at Costa Brava in 1929. Around that time she was found to have uterine fibroids, for which she underwent a hysterectomy in 1936. She was Dali’s muse, she was a muse for poets and artists.
In 1912 she was sent 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 were married one year later. Their daughter, Cecile, was born in 1918. Gala detested motherhood, mistreating and ignoring her child.
“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, Liueta. I also call her Lionette, because when she gets angry she roars like the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion”.
In 1958 Dali and Gala married at the Angels chapel, near Girona. In 1968 the painter bought Gala a castle in Pubol, Girona, and it was agreed that the painter could not go there without her prior permission in writing to do so. Between 1971 and 1980, Gala would spend periods of time at her castle, always in summer. It was there that Gala was buried, following her death in 1982. Since 1996 the castle has been open to the public as the Gala-Dali Castle House Museum in Pubol.