Avenida del Mar Marbella
The Avenida del Mar is a popular walkway between Marbella’s old town and the Paseo Maritimo. It is home to a collection of ten Salvador Dali sculptures cast in bronze and two other sculptures by Eduardo Soriano.
Salvador Dali, the infamous Spanish surrealist painter and sculptor, was born in Figueres in Catalonia in 1904 and he died there in 1989. He is widely regarded as one of Spain´s most influential artists of the 20th century.
There is no obvious connection between Salvador Dali and Marbella, but you will find a collection of his work here in the Avenida del Mar. The area, which was once a public park with a beautiful flower garden, is today home to an outdoor collection of surrealist art by Dali and local artist Eduardo Soriano.
The Avenida del Mar is to the south of Marbella´s Old Town, between the Parque Alameda and the Paseo Maritimo. Approaching the Avenida del Mar from Parque Alameda, the first Dali statue you come across is called “Perseo” – Perseus. But, before you start to admire it, turn around and you will see the delicate sculpture of a girl on a swing hidden amongst the plants.
There are five Dali statues between Eduardo Soriano´s “Girl on a swing” and a decorative fountain in the centre of the Avenida del Mar. The first is a statue of the Greek mythological hero Perseus beheading Medusa. The second is called “Gala Gradiva”, Dali´s nickname for his wife. The third is “Mercurio” depicting the Roman god Mercury. The fourth statue is called “Trajano a Caballo” – the Roman Emperor Trajan on a horse. And the fifth is of Dali´s wife looking through a window.
The centrepiece of the Avenida del Mar is a 1992 pyramid shaped fountain honouring the architects Roberto Barrios and Elisa Cepedano. The sixth Dali statue is called “Caballo con Jinete Tropezando” – horse and rider stumbling. The seventh statue is called “Elefante Cosmico” – cosmic elephant. The eighth is called “Mujer Desnuda Subiendo la Escalera” – a naked woman climbing onto a snail. The ninth statue is called “Don Quiote sentado” – the famous Cervantes character Don Quijote seated. The tenth and last Dali statue is “Hombre sobre delfin” – man on a dolphin.
The final sculpture in the Avenida del Mar, at the top of the steps leading down to the Paseo Maritimo, is another by Eduardo Soriano. It is a tribute to freedom of expression and includes the inscription “A la libertad de expresión”. On each side of the plynth, there are quotes from Soriano and Seneca. The literal translations are “Freedom does not die is born and daily sleeps” (Soriano) and “There is no place so narrow that you cannot lift up your thought to the heavens” (Seneca).