I was recently asked if I have a favourite artist. This is an almost impossible question to answer as there are so many different artists and genres I admire, but a pivotal moment for me was when I was given my very first art book when I was seven years old. It was about Leonardo da Vinci and even from that young age I was completely mesmerised. I remember being utterly captivated and simply blown away that any person could paint such beautiful images, so if urged to choose a favourite artist, he is certainly at the top of my list, and has been a constant source of inspiration throughout my life.
Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time – the Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and The Vitruvian Man bear testament to his skill. He was known as a ‘polymath’ – meaning ‘a person of great knowledge’ and among the many and varied subjects he excelled in where science, architecture, music, mathematics, geology, botany, literature, engineering, cartography and anatomy. One of my favourite mottos is ‘Never turn down the opportunity to learn’ and Leonardo’s works clearly express his voracious hunger for knowledge.
Another artist that I have always admired is Salvador Dali, so you can imagine my delight when I had the chance to visit Catalan and the area he came from a couple of years ago, along with his house in Port Ligat, a small village located in a small bay on the Cap de Creus peninsular.
Salvador Dali was a prominent Spanish surrealist, born in Figueres in 1904 who evoked his dreams and hallucinations in truly unforgettable images. His fiercely technical and unusual paintings make him one of the most controversial and paradoxical artist of the 20th Century – with The Persistence of Memory, Swans reflecting Elephants, Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee and Metamorphosis of Narcissus just a few of his masterpieces.