Fundació Joan Miró

Joan Miró was a Catalan artist (born 1893 in Barcelona), who worked in many mediums producing art lithographs, murals, tapestries, and sculptures for public spaces as well as being a prolific abstract painter. A visit to the Fundació Joan Miró is wonderful experience if you enjoy modern art.

The building in Barcelona is light and modern, with well apportioned gallery space and a very interesting selection of his work from the early realist paintings influenced by Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh though to his later Surrealist work. Joan Miró always instead that he did not belong to any specific art school, but his works exhibit a dream-like, subconscious quality which is indicative of the Surrealists. Throughout his life he developed a style which included cosmically symbolic elements; and there is a definable tension between the dream-like poetic images from his mind which are contrasted with the harsh realities of life in the real world…

In many interviews from the 1930s on-wards, Joan Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods, which he saw as a device to support a bourgeois society. He went on to declare an “assassination of painting” and decreed to upset the visual elements of established painting. At the time, this was no doubt seen as a radical and exciting mission to followers of the Surrealist movement!

His work from around 1937 took on a political meaning, but his wonderful constellations (as above) shifted the focus to the subjects of women, birds, and the moon, which dominated his iconography for a great deal of the rest of his career (he died in 1983).

* If you visiting for the first time the audio guide is in valuable as there is very little description next to the artworks, many of which are difficult to decipher without extra information. Please note that for purchase of the audio guide you will need documents or identification to leave at the desk otherwise a returnable deposit of 50 euros is required.

Casa Batlló: Barcelona

Casa Batlló is an outstanding architectural delight. Once the family home of Antoni Gaudi, the building has been restored with much respect of its architectural heritage, opening to the public as a private museum to the in 2002. It design is unprecedented in the architectural world, and on The Noble floor which was the main living space of the family, there is not a single straight line to be found anywhere  The fluid, fluctuating textures of the walls echo the natural ebb and flow of the tide. Each softly curved surface creates the illusion of the building as a living, breathing creature, and at times it feels as if you are inside a giant beautiful mollusk, deep in depths of the sea.

A visit to the Casa Batlló is a wonderful surreal experience; the museum have used the latest technology to make each visit as informative and entertaining as possible. The electronic guide, which is the same size as an iPhone, contains extra effects and images to show how the rooms would have looked completely furnished, when Gaudi lived there.

The building is surprisingly light and airy. Its central structure contains a beautifully tiled vertical shaft to a decorated window situated on the surface of the Dragon Roof Terrace, which provides both light and internal ventilation. Not one of the tiles has a straight surface and the carefully coordinated colour gradient gives the impression that it is as light at the bottom as the top!

The stunning roof terrace is shaped like the vertebra of a dragons back, and is decorated with carnival masks of the dragon’s victims. The design is a celebration of the legend of Saint Jordi (Saint George) who is the patron saint of  Catolonia. It’s a wonderfully romantic story of damsel rescued by a dashing knight!

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Exterior Casa Batllo
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Interior: The Nobel Floor
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Interior: The Nobel Floor: Stained glass which appears to be made from different colours from each side!
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Interior: The Nobel Floor; huge golden light in the center of the sitting room ceiling
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The Noble Floor: fabulous jeweled chandelier
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View from interior stairwell
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View from interior stairwell
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Exterior coutyard
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Dragon rooftop terrace
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Dragon rooftop terrace

Beautiful Barcelona!

Just back from my holidays, where I enjoyed a city break in Barcelona. The temperature, as you would expect at this time of year, was very hot and the humidity was also high – even for a visitor from sunny Cyprus! Despite the crowds, the atmosphere was relaxed and the city was in full bloom…

There was so much to see, and I will be doing a couple of blogs to celebrate the art, architecture and beauty of the city, but I am beginning with a general selection of my photographs, and hopefully you will find the views as interesting as I did!

View from hotel balcony
View from hotel balcony
Placa Catalunya
Placa Catalunya
Statue in Placa Catalunya
Statue in Placa Catalunya
La Rambla
La Rambla
 Indoor Market at La Rambla
Indoor Market at La Rambla
Barcelona Cathedral
Barcelona Cathedral
Interior Placa Catalunya
Interior Barcelona Cathedral
Interior Barcelona Catherdral
Interior Barcelona Cathedral
Habor view from cable car
Habor view from cable car
La Pedrera
La Pedrera
Balcony La Pedrera
Balcony La Pedrera
Placa Reial
Placa Reial
Cheers!
Cheers!

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