Dalí is in the Details
The Royal Heart's ruby core, much like the human heart, is off center. Just a little bit closer to its left side, frustratingly creating an imbalance in the symmetrical-loving brain. The lopsidedness is a perfect contrast against immaculately-made jewelry like the ones you'd see at Tiffyany's or De Beers. It's the detail like that that makes Dalí incontestably remarkable, because indeed, the human heart's exact location is behind, and slightly leaning towards the left breastbone.
The most important piece in this brooch is not encrusted in jewels and is in fact hidden from plain sight. Equipped with a moving motor mechanism, it looks like its pumping blood to an imaginary body. Its realistic beating and pace is so jarring - it does not make a sound as it beats but the mind compensates and creates a phantom beating sound.
The brooch's outer heart is made up of 18k yellow gold. Diamonds, Pearls, Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Aquamarines, Peridots, Hessonite Garnets, and an Amethyst quartz make up the crown. The ruby heart consists of round and oval cut natural rubies. It is equipped with a synchron motor, which I think is the same ones used in clocks.
Figueres, the birth place of Salvador Dalí is a rather quiet and quaint town, especially in comparison to Barcelona, the usual jump off point to Figueres. Its city center is almost like a Dalí-themed amusement park, with monuments and shops alluding to him (and to his mustache! see Ice cream parlor below). A rightfully given-homage considering even 29 years after his death, he is still bringing in revenue for the small town through his museum, Teatre-Museu Dalí. It is the second most visited museum in Spain next to the Prado.
When we got to Figures, we were so confused as to why there wasn't any tourists, not a lot of locals around, it looked like a ghost town almost, and then we figured out why: FC Barcelona was playing against Real Madrid. (Barça won with 3-0!!!)
Right across Teatru-Museu Dalí, is the church of Sant Pere, where Dali was baptized, had his first communion, and to complete an almost Campbellian journey, Dalí was returned to the church for his funeral. He was ultimately laid to rest in a crypt below the museum, where thousands visit and pay their respects to his genius every year.
Looking at its façade, there is absolutely no doubt that Dalí designed this museum. The museum itself and everything in it was conceived by Dalí, and is considered his last great work. It started in the 60's when the mayor of Figueres at that time asked Dalí to donate one of his works to the local town museum, and quickly, Dalí replied that he wouldn't only donate one of his works but he would give the town of Figueres an entire museum.
"Where, if not in my own town, should the most extravagant and solid of my work endure, where if not here? The Municipal Theatre, or what remained of it, struck me as very appropriate, and for three reasons: first, because I am an eminently theatrical painter; second, because the theatre stands right in front of the church where I was baptised; and third, because it was precisely in the entrance hall of the theatre that I hosted my first exhibition."
Teatru-Museu Dalí. Plaça Gala i Salvador Dalí, 5, 17600 Figueres, Girona. A 45-minute high speed rail way away from Barcelona. From there, you can take a cab to the museum. The museum is walking distance to the city center where you can eat, hang out and shop. If you're ever thinking about going to Figueres and have questions, feel free to contact me.