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The artists of the Costa Brava

Costa Brava artists are famous! Throughout time the Costa Brava has been the birthplace of several great and renowned artists. In the early twentieth century, the beauty of the region attracted many extremely influential artists, including Picasso, Rusiñol and Dalí. These artists were the first to notice the natural beauty of Costa Brava, and to express this beauty in their paintings for everyone to see. In fact, they were even at times described as the settlers of the land!

Santiago Rusiñol

Santiago Rusiñol was the greatest representative of Catalan modernism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His life was the perfect example of that of an artist; dabbling in painting, literature, poetry, and theater. Rusiñol was responsible for turning Sitges into the capital of modernism and was the host of 5 modernist parties at which an entire entourage of the most representative figures of Catalan modernism met. In Girona, it is possible to visit a cultural museum with some works by Santiago Rusiñol.

Pablo Picasso

This Spanish painter and sculptor was one of the artists who could not resist the charms of Costa Brava!  During his time in Horta de Sant Joan, Tarragona, Picasso was inspired by nature and the modernist ideas that occupied the area, which led to the beginning of his career and the start of his “blue period“. In the spring of this period, Picasso began his work “La vie“;  one of his most complex paintings.

Picasso stayed there twice: first for about nine months between 1898-1899 and after that for almost 10 years when he returned with his muse, Fernande Olivier.

Thus we discover that Pablo Picasso decided to spend in Cadaqués the summer of 1910 with Fernande and a group of friends. They decide to rent a house by the sea and it is believed that this summer in Cadaqués influenced the development of Picasso’s cubism, an artistic current that had barely emerged a couple of years before. Also, Dalì spent time in Cadaqués.
At that time Picasso and Dalí had no relationship since Salvador Dalí was barely 6 years old. However, something from this town attracted them both at different times of their lives. The calm that is breathed and the sea that enters the town were two key factors to turn Cadaqués into a source of inspiration for the two greatest geniuses of contemporary art.

From the web of Casa Museo Dalí:

Picasso helped Dalí during the first years of the young artist’s career and, in the thirties, both Dalí and Picasso participated in the surrealist project. Both responded simultaneously to the horrors of the Civil War with works that staged the anguish of human drama. After the Civil War, Dalí referenced and honored Picasso through his work. From the fifties, the work of the two artists would converge again in the confrontation with the great masters of art history and with Velázquez in particular.

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Salvador Dalí

This artist is known as the Master of Surrealism of the twentieth century. Salvador Dalí was born and lived almost his entire life in Costa Brava. He discovered his passion for art there. He could paint there freely with the lights and colors of the region serving as his inspiration. He enjoyed spending the summers with his parents at home. However, when his father found out that he was with an older woman he forbade him to visit any longer. So the painter bought a small Portlligat, where he settled with the woman named Galia. In this house, Dalí lived and often worked until he moved to Pubol Castle, which ended up being his last workshop and the mausoleum for his wife Galia.

Cadaqués is a fishing village located in the province of Girona that does not reach 3000 inhabitants. Even so, it is a special town, with its charming hotels, its old town, and its restaurants and shops. What does Cadaqués have so special? Well, that was the place chosen by Salvador Dalí to spend long stays with his wife, Gala. The own House museum is in itself one more work of the great artist.

If you are planning to visit the Costa Brava and explore the lives and works of these most influential artists, there are several ways to get there! Remember if you’re staying in Barcelona, Costa Brava will not be far! We have apartments in Costa Brava to suit your needs!

How to get there:

  • Plane: The most central airport of the Costa Brava is Girona and from there you can take a bus to your final destination.
  • Car: You can take any of the country roads or the Mediterranean motorway A7 motorway leading from France to Algeciras that goes to all the destinations of Costa Brava.
  • Train: There are several trains available to take from the Sants and Catalunya Station, which will take you to Costa Brava. We recommend you check the timetables and prices before you go.
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One comment

  1. I literally had no idea before your article that the artists mentioned had been inspired by Costa Brava. But it’s a magical place I can understand why

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