Private Collection, Spain (commissioned from the artist in 1971 and delivered in 1973)
Acquired by descent from the above
The imaginative scenarios portrayed within Dalí's paintings often incorporated elements of his biography, embellished and reinterpreted through the wild imagination of the irreverent Surrealist. The fantastical scene portrayed in the present work is set in Port Lligat, where Dalí resided with his wife Gala and which had been the setting for other important compositions of the artist's late career. The spectacle here is an amalgam of various legends and myths, replete with jousting knights, Pegasus and Cupid, even calling to mind the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts. Dalí's titular reference to Gala emphasizes the power of his indomitable female companion, who was essentially the Alpha and Omega of the artist's world.
Unlike many of the legendary "artists' muses" of the 20th century, Gala was a commanding force in Dalí's career, and her influence permeated every aspect of his art. She is ever-present in his paintings, be it as the model, the titular reference, or even the artist's signature, which was often rendered as the couple's combined name, GalaDalí. But Gala's influence was not limited to Dalí's painting. In various scenarios, she acted as his manager, his liaison between the commercial world and also as his spokesperson. During their time together, she had become the embodiment of his art, and it is her magisterial aura that reigns supreme in Dalí's picture here.
Las Galas de Port Lligat was commissioned directly from the artist by a private collector in Spain, who was a friend of Dalí. According to the present owners, the request to the artist was made in 1971, although the final work was not completed until 1973.
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