Gala Dalí: was the painter's 'demon bride' wicked – or misunderstood? 

In the same boat: Salvador and Gala Dalí, c1960
In the same boat: Salvador and Gala Dalí, c1960

On June 10 1982, a midnight blue Cadillac sedan threaded its way from Port Lligat, a fishing village on the Catalan coast, to the medieval hamlet of Púbol, 40 miles to the south. At the wheel, setting a stately pace, was Artur Caminada: butler, chauffeur and longtime dogsbody of the 78-year-old surrealist master Salvador Dalí. In the back – her delicate shoulders gripped by the doughty nurse beside her, a leopard skin cushion propped behind her back – was the artist’s wife, Gala.

The trio travelled in silence. Even the notoriously demanding Gala – a Russian dynamo who for the past 53 years had taken charge of her chaotic husband’s affairs, masterminding his metamorphosis from an unknown young...

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