Traveling Tips

5 of the Most Important Art Events You Should Put in Your Social Agenda Every Year

5 of the Most Important Art Events You Should Put in Your Social Agenda Every Year

Best Places to Find Contemporary Art in Spain

Your trip to Spain must not be resumed to seeing all the beautiful exhibits in the museums and art galleries. You could even interact with artists and curators or purchase some of the works, or you can see what is new on the contemporary art scene before any of the pieces ever reach an art gallery. How can you do all this? By attending some of the biggest art events in Spain, of course. And they are not limited to Madrid only! If you are traveling for business but you still want to squeeze in some art interests, you can do so in Barcelona and Seville as well.

5 of the most important art events in Spain

ARCO Madrid

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People at the ARCO fair

ARCO Madrid is Europe’s largest contemporary art exhibition, with over 200 galleries from 32 countries attending the event. It registered millions of visitors and transactions. The event was first held in 1982 by Juana de Aizpuru and it included multidisciplinary entries such as painting, sculpture, photography, design and many more. The artists are in attendance and there are live shows with discussions on the industry evolution and needs.

The ARCO event places collectors’ best interests at the centre and presents some of the best contemporary works of art. And just to show that it is never out of reach from classical art either, know that it is located near the Madrid Golden Art Triangle, near the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia Museums.

JustMAD

JustMAD is a contemporary art fair dedicated to the promotion of emerging artists. It is hosted by the COAM-La Sede (Architects College in Madrid), an iconic building in the center of the city. An important program of the event is the Just Residence, a 4 week art residency program that gives the opportunity of spending time in the company of international contemporary artists.

The atmosphere at JustMAD is always a very friendly one, where networking is made easy for curators and collectors. Over 60 galleries are partners in the event and exhibitions of painting, sculpture, performance, video art, cross art and installation are the main attractions. Also, emerging artists are not the only ones encouraged by the event. So are young galleries.

Swab Barcelona

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People queuing at the 2014 edition of Swab Barcelona

The first edition of the event was in 2006. The following edition was already attended by 42 galleries from over 13 countries and it was visited by 6000 people. In 2016, 75 galleries were involved in the project. Throughout the years, the event grew to include activities held throughout the city, with the cooperation of public institutions and artistic organizations. It was all done with the purpose of bringing art closer to the people. In 2012, for example, 20 urban artists painted 200 linear meters of city walls.

During the fair, gallery revenues increase considerably (even 75%) and artists and art students are given a chance to show their talent in innovative competitions. The event even opens the doors of private collections to art lovers in search of unique pieces.

 Barcelona International Art Fair

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 Logo of the International Barcelona Art Fair

The Barcelona International Art Fair is usually held at the Maritime Museum and it showcases paintings, sculptures, photographs and installations from over 100 contemporary exhibitors from 30 countries. Artists, collectors and curators from all over the world come together in an amazing event. Art enthusiasts always find something interesting to see and even purchase, if the budget allows it. If your trip to Barcelona happens to coincide with this event, we strongly recommend you go there and put your finger on the pulse of contemporary European and international art.

 SACO Sevilla

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Exhibit during the SACO Sevilla event

SACO is a November contemporary art festival held in the Andalusian capital, Seville. This is a grand international cultural event dedicated to emerging and established artists. Its main aim is that of creating a quality market for contemporary art and to better promote the needs of the industry not only in Seville but in the entire region as well. The event lasts for four days and it is open for artists, art students, art promoters, art critics and art lovers overall.

The festival builds on the cultural importance of Seville, on the number of its inhabitants and on the great tourists coming over every year. It all creates the necessary public for promoting art in a beautiful and historical background, giving participants a proper context of the evolution of art in the region.

It all goes to show that Spain is not lacking in cultural events of any kind. If anything, there are more fairs dedicated to bringing together artists, collectors and curators than a person visiting Spain has time to attend. It only proves the commitment of Spanish art lovers, gallery owners and event organizers for the constant improvement of the industry.

 

Make Time to Visit at Least Some of These 8 Museums in Valencia

Make Time to Visit at Least Some of These 8 Museums in Valencia

Discover Valencia’s Beautiful Museums

Planning a trip to Valencia and you do not know how to make the best of your time there? Let us help! We have put together a list of the top 8 museums you could visit. Art museums, ceramic museums and much more are waiting for your curious eyes to fall on their display cases and we are convinced that you will find the experience more than intriguing and educational. And do not expect the regular kind on museum going experience. On the contrary! Get ready to have your mind blown by some of these places.

Valencia’s top 8 museums

El Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti

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The ‘Gonzalez Marti’ National Ceramics Museum

Photo credit: Jocelyn [email protected]

This museum, the only national one in Valencia, holds a collection of decorative arts, ceramic objects, furniture, clothing, paintings, graphical arts and more. It is housed by the Palace of the Marques de dos Aquas, in a stunning building with a matching interior. This will be a 2 in 1 treat as you can also take a guided tour of the building. Take your time on this visit and observe the fine architectural details of this Rococo palace.

Careful when you plan your trip, though. The museum is closed on Mondays. On the rest of the days, entry is €3/1.50 or free for people with disabilities, pensioners, students and under 18.

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

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City of Arts and Sciences

This is not your conventional type of museum. The modern building, designed by architect Santiago Calatrava is spread across two kilometers on the former riverbed of the Turia River. The complex is made out of the Oceanographic (Europe’s biggest aquarium), the Hemisferic (a giant 3D movie theatre with a 900 meters concave screen that involved spectators and runs documentaries), the Principe Felipe Science Museum (where you can interact with any of the exhibits), the Umbracle (an open space garden with Mediterranean plants and contemporary sculptures) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia (opera house). Many of these places require prior booking as they are constantly packed.

 Museo de Las Bellas Artes de Valencia

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The Valencia museum of Fine Arts

Housed in a beautiful 17th century palace, the Museum of Fine Arts in Valencia stands out with a remarkable collection of medieval art pieces, paintings, sculptures and etchings done through the centuries. Here you can admire the works of Goya, Van Dyck, Velazquez, El Greco and Ribera. There is also one room dedicated to the local Valencian artist, Joaquin Sorolla. Entrance is free and the museum is closed on Mondays.

 Instituto de Valencia d’Arte Moderna (IVAM)

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The Valencia Modern Art Institute

This is the most important modern art institute in Valencia and a place where people can come, study and reflect on the works of art. There are conferences and events in the fields of art and culture. Their permanent displays are those of abstract sculptor Julio Gonzalez and painter Ignacio Pinazo. You can also admire some of the works of Joaquin Sorolla and Pablo Picasso. Art lovers can also browse through over 47,000 free to use art documents; they can attend book and poetry readings, see movies or listen to music.

The entrance fee is € 1-2, €1 or free for the retired, unemployed, disabled and children under the age of 10.

 Museu de Prehistoria de Valencia

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A vase on display at the Museum of Prehistory

The Museum of Prehistory in Valencia holds a collection of the objects discovered during the excavations in various sites around the area. It is one of the preferred educational destinations for kids and it is important for the community as it sheds light on the early settlers and how they lived. The materials presented there are from the Paleolithic to the Visigoth periods.

Museo Valenciano de la Ilustracion y la Modernidad (MuVIM)

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Street view of the Valencian Museum of Illustration and Modernity

The MuVIM was opened in 2001 and it was dedicated to the illustration period. In time, the concept evolved and the museum now hosts exhibitions related to photography, design, cooking, music, modern life topics and more. It is all done in the idea of recreating the modern life context through various and very different elements. The museum is unique in the sense that it brings a regional flavor to this concept.

Fallas Museum

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Inside the Fallas Museum

The Fallas museum holds the ninots. These are gigantic figures made of wood, cardboard and plaster made especially for the Fallas Festival. During the festival, the ninots are parades then set on fire. The Fallas museum is the place where the ninots spared by popular vote since 1934 are on display. You can also see photos from past Fallas editions and other materials to help you better understand the festival.

Almoina Archeological Center

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The Almoina Archeological Center

With the region of Valencia having such a rich past, it is no wonder there are several history museums. The Almoina Archeological Center holds pieces from Roman, Visigoth and Arab times. You can see the ruins of the first Roman settlement 2000 years ago and you can see remnants of buildings and baths. The two main roads in any Roman city, the cardo and the decumanus, are the main attraction. There are also ample remains from the Islamic period, with a courtyard and part of the fortifications.

If time will allow it, you can really enjoy each trip to these amazing museums. If not, you can choose the ones you wish to see the most. Either way, we hope this article has provided you with useful information to help you better plan your trip to Valencia.

 

Spain’s Top 4 Cultural Events You Should Attend At Least Once

Spain’s Top 4 Cultural Events You Should Attend At Least Once

The Big 4 in Art Events in Spain

If you want to experience Spain’s cultural scene in a more concentrated fashion, then planning your trip according to the 4 big art events of the country would be a good idea. Film, photography, music and theatre festivals are elegant events that surpass a mere visit to a museum or a gallery and that give you the chance to interact with curators, artists, people who share your passion for art in any of its forms. Spain is a place open to artistic manifestations and these are the events where you can get to know this best.

The 4 main cultural events in Spain

Madrid International Film Festival

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Logo of the Madrid International Film Festival

The Madrid International Film Festival is one of the most successful events of its kind in Europe. In the 5 years it has been organized, it managed to create a professional network of industry professionals and it has brought together filmmakers and sponsors in the idea of making new and daring projects possible. Each event ends with a celebratory gala dinner for nominees and winners, an elegant way of rewarding those involved in making happen one of Spain’s most important cultural events.

Attending the festival means getting to watch a very fine selection of movies. The Madrid International Film Festival is known for being inventive in its choice of films which are of all types and for giving a special place in the limelight to new comers. Apart from the award ceremony, the rest of the events are free. This includes Q&A panels, screenings, talks and networking events. This is the essence of real networking among industry professionals and people with a passion for artistic films. If you do not have the time to attend the festival at full length you can make a selection or go to the short film section. Surely there is something for everyone at this well organized event.

PHotoEspana

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Donostia [email protected]

There have been over 600 exhibits held under the umbrella of the PHotoEspana event since its launch in 1998. With more than half a million visitors a year, this is the most visited cultural event in Spain. It has become the new world standard for photography festivals, going for its 20th anniversary and the 20th successful edition.

The Festival has followed the evolution of photography up to the digital era, making these current editions interesting from the standpoint of the industry talks. This is another good opportunity to consolidate the festival’s reputation in the years to come. The old and new, the local and the foreign come together in the same context: to present a different vision of the same world. This is what makes the Festival unique, inclusive and successful.

Each edition has a specific theme and the exhibits are divided into programs for the Official Selection and the Festival Off. As it is organized by La Fabrica and supported by public and private institutions, the exhibits take place in a number of locations. The Official Selection involves museums, institutions and large centers for exhibition, while the Festival Off implies exhibits in galleries and other types of venues.

Granada Music Festival

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A show during the Granada Music Festival

Imagine spending a warm and perfect July night listening to a concert or watching an amazing dance performance in the romantic setting of the Alhambra gardens. The Granada Music Festival is wrapped in scents of jasmine and myrtle and the organizers know how to make great use of the Royal Chapel, the Abbey of Sacromonte, the Carthusian Monastery or the Casa de Castril and Casa de los Tiros among historical monuments. Their architecture is used to bring to life a unique musical event.

You could be attending ballet, flamenco and modern dance shows at any of the venues included in the festival itinerary and you could spend your nights in the company of music lovers just like yourself, but in the most unique setting. Each edition of the festival has its own theme and the shows are organized accordingly. The national and international press has always given great reviews and this has increased the number of visitors to the event. More than 30,000 visitors a year to be more precise.

International Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro

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A show during the International Classical Theatre Festival in Almagro

Another festival held in July is the Almagro International Classical Theatre Festival. For the past 37 years, this summer event has been drawing over 60,000 people to the city of Castilla-La Mancha, in front of the Corral de Comedias stage which has been used for nearly 400 years now. Other venues are included in the festival to host its diverse performance program and to complete it with various workshops and theatre related events.

The Baroque setting of the theatre stage which has been hosting performances since the 16th century is the best place to enjoy the works of Molière, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega and of other classic playwrights. It takes around 40,000 people to make the festival a full success and a destination that needs to be on your list of events to attend in Spain.

Attending any one of these elegant events would be reason to get excited about your trip to Spain. The people here are all interesting and well educated in the field of your interest. You can always find someone to have a great conversation with and expand your views on various topics. Of all the types of travel, culture trips are the most eye-opening experiences. The best thing to do is to check out these events for yourself and decide which one is your favorite.

 

8 Architectural Gems You Can Only Feast Your Eyes on When in Spain

8 Architectural Gems You Can Only Feast Your Eyes on When in Spain

You Cannot Visit Spain and Not Check Out These Buildings

Spain is known for its incredibly beautiful buildings. And no matter how little you know about it, the name Gaudi must still ring a bell. And even if it doesn’t, once you see his creations you will become a big fan. But this is not all there is to Spanish architecture. A country with so much tradition has a lot to offer and a lot to teach us from its past. The modern architecture does not disappoint either. Here is a list of 8 architectural gems. See them and we will let you decide whether you like the past more than the future or otherwise.

8 architectural gems to see during your trip to Spain

1. La Sagrada Familia

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La Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is the main tourist attraction in Barcelona. The Roman Catholic Church was designed by Antoni Gaudi and its construction started in 1882. By the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926, the church was not yet ready. The construction is daring to say the least. It combines Gothic elements with curvilinear Art Nouveau elements. Gaudi’s initial plans included 18 spires – 12 for the apostles and built to represent each of them, and the rest for the four Evanghelists, the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. Only eight of them have been built so far as the construction works are expected to last until 2026.

2. Casa Batllo

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Casa Batllo

The house belonged to industrialist Josep Batllo. In 1904 he asked an architect to renovate the residence. It resulted in another one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, one that is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The façade was adorned with ceramics, stone and forged iron in the shape of Art Nouveau elements. The interior matches the exterior in the sense that it offers an unexpected spectacle of decorations, tiles and staircases that take you to a dream world. Another amazing thing you will notice is the fact that there are no straight lines.

3. Park Guell

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Park Guell

Yes, it’s Gaudi again! Get used to it. This time we suggest you visit the bizarre park Guell and the Mind House. There is a rocky hill with vegetation (Bare Mountain), there are fountains and there is furniture designed by Gaudi. The park was built between 1900 and 1914, it was opened to the public in 1926 and in 1984 it was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

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The city of Art and Sciences in Valencia

Photo credit: O [email protected]

You cannot miss this one. The Valencia City of Arts and Sciences is an incredible complex of buildings situated on the riverbed of the Turia river. Following the flood of 1957, the river was drained and rerouted. The current construction, a masterpiece in glass and metal was inaugurated in 1998.

5.Torre Galatea

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Torre Galatea

Torre Galatea is an annex of the Dali Theatre and Museum in Figueres, the artist’s home town. It stands out as it has egg shaped sculptures on the rooftop. The artist oversaw the works for the transformation of the old theatre into a museum and he had a hand in designing the unique tower. It is named after his wife, Gala.

Of course, Dali fans will know this and they will be excited to see the place. Just as excited given the fact that it is the artist’s final resting place as well. The trippy vision of the red tower with eggs on top is a sort of a funeral stone crowning the building celebrating his life’s work.

6. Alhambra

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Alhambra

Alhambra is a complex fortress located in Granada, Andalusia. It dates back to 889 as it was built over the ruins of an ancient Roman fortification. Around 1333, it became a royal palace under the rule of Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada. In 1492, following the Christian Reconquista, Alhambra became the Royal Palace. There is a lot of history to this place but even more beauty. If you try to read up about it before going, you will find a lot of mentions in songs and poems.

A visit to Alhambra will bring you close to a firsthand experience of Moorish architectural elements as well as Western elements reinterpreted by Islamic art.

7. Santiago de Compostela

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 Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is a Cathedral included in the World Heritage Sites. It is the burial place of Saint James the Great and a place of pilgrimage ever since the Middle Ages. The building structure is Romanesque, yet Gothic and Baroque additions were made throughout the years. This is a great example of religious structures and architecture we felt we needed to include on our list.

8. Mezquita de Cordoba

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Inside the Cordoba Mosque

The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba is also known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption and it has a very interesting background. When the Muslims took over the territory in 711, the church was divided in half to serve both religions. When Cordoba returned to Christian rule, the building returned to a Roman Catholic Church and the nave was added. Why is it important for you to visit the Mosque Cathedral of Cordoba? Because it perfectly depicts the history of the place.

If you thought this list would only include many old buildings where one or another person used to live, they you were in for a surprise. The buildings we suggested are unique in the world and they will change your views on architecture forever. Just try to look at a normal house after having visited Gaudi’s masterpieces.

 

9 Most Famous Spanish Paintings You Cannot Leave Without Seeing

9 Most Famous Spanish Paintings You Cannot Leave Without Seeing

Must See Spanish Masterpieces

The Spanish masters have left impressive works of art which are now on display in some of the biggest museums in the country. You may not have the time to visit every one of these amazing places, but you cannot leave without having seen the biggest Spanish masterpieces. And just so you do not have to wonder confused from one place to another, we have made a list of 9 most famous Spanish paintings. If anything, at the end of your trip you might even become a Picasso, Goya or Velazquez fan. You do not know who these guys are or you know a little something but not enough? Then keep reading this article.

9 of the most important Spanish paintings and where to find them

1. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, on display at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid

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Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ mural

What everybody seems to say about this is that even if you do not manage to see anything else in Spain, you must make time to see Guernica. Picasso’s most famous work of art is a representation from the Spanish Civil War, namely the aftermath of the German bombing of the Basque town in which everything is left shattered.

2. Francisco Goya’s Third of May, on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid

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Francisco Goya’s ‘Third of May’

Before Guernica there was the Third of May, Goya’s masterpiece having inspired Picasso. The painting depicts Napoleon’s army executing Spanish rebels and innocent bystanders on the night of May 3rd, 1808, one day after citizens of Madrid revolted against the French occupying forces. The work of art is revolutionary in the sense that until then, all war paintings represented acts of heroism on either side. This episode is lacking in war luster, it is unheroic and emotional.

3. Diego Velazquez, Las Meninas, on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid

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Diego Velazquez’ ‘Las Meninas’

Las Meninas shows the family of king Felipe IV, namely the Spanish Infanta Margarita and her maids of Honor (las meninas). The parents appear reflected in a mirror at the back of the painting. This work has inspired numerous other artists to make their own interpretations. Picasso himself has a series of paintings reinterpreting Velazquez’s greatest work. And if you are at the Prado to see this work, sneak a peek at the rest of the Velazquez collection. It is the most extensive one.

4. El Greco, Burial of the Count of Orgaz, at the Church of San Tome in Toledo

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El Greco’s ‘Burial of Count of Orgaz’

If you are visiting the town of Toledo, make sure to see this masterpiece. It covers an entire wall of the chapel of San Tome and only by standing in front of it you can understand the genius of the artist. The painting gives the impression it is reaching up toward the heavens. Also, picking up a leaflet about the painting would not be a bad idea as there are things to discover, like the face of Spanish writer Miguel Cervantes.

5. Pablo Picasso’s, The Wait, at the Pablo Picasso Museum in Barcelona

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Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Wait’

The eyes of mysterious Margot haunt and follow you. The Wait is among the paintings that helped Picasso make a name for himself and one of the masterpieces you can see at the Barcelona Pablo Picasso Museum. The source of inspiration is a morphine addicted prostitute with a haunting gaze, depicted in vibrant colors. It simply feels alive and you must see this.

6. Salvador Dali’s Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Wakening up  at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

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Salvador Dali’s ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Wakening’

Any art lover would ask how you could travel to Spain and not see any of Dali’s works. However, if time is short, you must at least make the time to see The Dream. It represents Dali’s wife, Gala, dreaming of tigers. The great thing about surrealism is that it is so complex and open to interpretation that it means whatever you want it to mean. Seeing it in person is awe inspiring.

7. Jeff Koon’s, Puppy, at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

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Koon’s ‘Puppy’

Ok, this is not a painting. But it is still something we felt you need to see. Jeff Koons created the puppy that stands outside the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. It is made out of live bedding plants that keep growing. The artist expressed a desire that his work inspires joy and it is another example of how he strives to break down the barriers between art and the people.

8.Juan Sanchez Cotan’s, Still Life with Game, Vegetables and Fruit at the Prado Museum in Madrid

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Juan Sanchez Cotan’s ‘Still Life with Game, Vegetables and Fruit”

This is one of six known paintings of Juan Sanchez Cotan, the artist thought to be the father of still life in Spain and in Europe. His technique of having a strong light source over well lit objects set against a very dark background would be copied and perfected in the years to come throughout Europe. This painting dates back to 1602.

9. El Greco’s, Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest, on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid

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El Greco’s ‘Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest’

This is another one of El Greco’s remarkable compositions. The nobleman was identified as being a notary, Juan da Silva, a gentleman judging from his clothes and adornments. The position of his fingers has long been discussed. Spread out as they are, they have been interpreted as a vow, a rethorical gesture or repentance. The composition has something very natural yet extremely compelling. You should see it for yourself.

 

Top 7 of Spain’s Most Amazing Museums You Could Ever Set Foot In

Top 7 of Spain’s Most Amazing Museums You Could Ever Set Foot In

Spain’s Finest Museums to Visit

The greatest insight on a civilization is the one you get in the national museums. Visiting them, you can understand where these people have been, what they value most, what defines them as a group and where they are going. Spain is no exception to the rule. What is more it has museums so remarkable that people flock there every year. And we are not even talking only about the capital. There are great museum options in other Spanish cities as well. Let’s see which ones these are and what could interest you the most. All in the name of art, culture and science, no? Ole!

Spain’s top 7 museums all tourists should visit

 I. Prado Museum

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Outside view of the Prado Museum

This is one of the finest art museums in the world. Here you can feast your eyes on a complete collection of Spanish paintings dating from the 11th to the 18th century and it is based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. Other great masters whose works you can admire at the Prado museum are Rubens, Hyeronymus Bosch, or El Bosco, as the Spanish call him, Titian, Tintoretto, Raphael and Rembrandt. Otherwise, if you came specifically for Goya, Velazquez or El Greco, you have hit the jackpot.

The building which now houses the museum was built in 1785 and it was designed by Juan de Villanueva, a Spanish Enlightenment architect. The museum has a collection of 1000 sculptures, 7600 paintings and it is visited by more than 2 million people every year.

 II. Thyssen-Bornemisza

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Outside view of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The collection of works of art at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum started off as an awe inspiring collection of a private collector. It included around 700 canvases from artists such as El Greco and Picasso and it was formerly displayed in Switzerland.

Today, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum collection includes works from the 13th century to the Impressionism, from the German and English schools to American avant-garde movement. You can admire the works of Durer, Renoir, Van Dyck, Degas, Kandinsky and many others.

III. Reina Sofia

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Outside view of the Reina Sofia Museum

Probably the biggest Spanish masterpiece is on display here, at the Reina Sofia Museum. We are talking about Picasso’s Guernica, the painting depicting the horrors of war. In fact, this is one of Spain’s largest museums with pieces of great artists such as Miro and Dali among others. The edifice is dedicated to contemporary and modern art and it is a must see for any art lover.

The entire collection is housed in two buildings. One was erected in the 16th century and one in 2001. At this point we should mention that this glorious construction closes Madrid’s “Golden Art Triangle” with the other two museums, the Thyssen and Prado, making up the other two sides.

IV. Guggenheim Bilbao Museum

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The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Do you think all museums are the same? Extensive collections of old paintings on display in buildings which used to belong to the royal family? Well, it is not the case when referring to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Many people take the trip simply to see the building designed by architect Frank Gehry.

As expected, the works on display here are avant-garde and contemporary art and the presentation is always stunning and in tune with the vibe of the place. The museum is now the symbol of Bilbao, a city that already was a popular tourist attraction.

V. Picasso Museum

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Street view of the Picasso Museum

You cannot visit Barcelona and not go to see Picasso’s greatest works. Maids of Honor, Harlequin and other more than 150 paintings can be seen here. There are also his interpretations of the works of great masters, like the Las Meninas series and his ceramic works. You can take in the genius of Picasso in the beautiful setting of the Buenavista Palace and you can even attend one of the many cultural activities held here on a regular basis. No matter how you put it, visiting the Picasso museum is a must.

VI. Dali Theatre Museum

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Street view of the Dali Theatre Museum

You do not have to be a fan of the surrealist movement to find something interesting to see in the Dali Theatre Museum. In fact, we believe very few people can leave the place without discovering a small passion for the artist afterwards. The Dali Theatre Museum is situated in Figueres, 139 kilometers from the city of Barcelona. It is housed in the former municipal theatre built in the 19th century, the eccentric artist himself having supervised the renovation works. All displays are conceived as a show as the artist wanted and there is always something to discover even where you expect it the least.

VII. Museo de Bellas Artes

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Museum of Fine Arts in Seville

As impressive as the collection at the Prado museum may be, there were still some pretty interesting works of art that ended up at the Museum for Fine Arts in Seville. When the Spanish promised a cultural experience in more than just the country capital, they were not kidding. Among the works you can see at the museum housed in a 17th century convent there are the Immaculate Conception of Murillo and the Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas of Zurbaran.

Amazed by how many beautiful things you could see in Spain? We expected that. This is why our selection is so restricted. Once you check out the biggest museums on our list, your appetite will take you to the next ones. And we bet you will not be disappointed there either.

Top 10 Art Galleries in Madrid That Keep Your Finger on the Art Pulse

Top 10 Art Galleries in Madrid That Keep Your Finger on the Art Pulse

Discover Madrid’s Contemporary Art Scene in These Galleries

One thing you must have noticed while walking through the streets of Madrid is that there are a lot of galleries. There are districts known for this type of establishments and anybody who wants to have anything to do with the art world has crossed the threshold of at least some of them. Do you want to know what the fuss is about and what exactly can you see in these galleries? Then simply step right in! You might even enjoy it. Here is a starting list of the 10 most popular ones. Feel free to add others and make your own selection. We strongly encourage it!

Top 10 famous Madrid art galleries

1. Heinrich Ehrhardt

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Exhibit at the Heinrich Ehrhardt Gallery

This gallery was opened in 1980 in Madrid and its exhibits featured post-war German artists such as Georg Baselitz and Joseph Beyus. Founder Heinrich Ehrhardt tried to expand the list of new talents on the German art scene by opening another gallery in Frankfurt in 1985 and by undertaking several public art projects in various European museums. His own gallery reopened in 1998 in Madrid and it now hosts emerging Spanish artists as well. Among them, Julia Spinola and Secundino Hernandez.

2. Elba Benitez

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Inside the Elba Benitez gallery

This amazing place opened in 1990 and has since then held exhibits of a wide range of contemporary art and other disciplines. If you are lucky, you can find in the courtyard of this beautiful old villa a sculpture, photography, painting or performance art exhibit. Other projects may involve architecture, film or public space project elements. The artists exhibiting here are both national as well as international.

3. Elvira Gonzalez

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Inside the Elvira Gonzalez gallery

If you are a fan of art of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Elvira Gonzalez gallery is the place to be. The place is named after its founder, former director of the Theo gallery and a person with great authority on the art scene. She is the one who has brought some of the greatest artists of the century to Spain. Only to name a few we mention August Rodin and Francis Bacon.

4. Juana de Aizpuru

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Inside the Juana de Aizpuru gallery

Prestigious names and the owner’s dedication for contemporary art meet up at the Juana de Aizpuru gallery in Madrid. Juana de Aizpuru opened a gallery in Seville in 1970 and one in Madrid in 1983, the latter outlasting the first one. Although there are numerous kinds of exhibits held here, photography holds a special place as artists such as Alberto Garcia Alix and Joel-Peter Witkin are practically household names.

5. Rafael Perez Hernando

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Entrance to the Rafael Perez Hernandez gallery

The current venue of the Rafael Perez Hernandez gallery was reopened in 2004 as the initial location opened in 1996 having been set in a small basement near-by. Although in the beginning the gallery was reserved for established artists with quality work, now emerging talents can find a place for their works. There are different disciplines accepted here, photography, sculpture and painting among them.

6. Marlborough

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Inside the Marlborough gallery

The Madrid Marlborough gallery is one of many such branches opened in NYC, London, Barcelona and Monaco, among other locations. Here you can find paintings and sculptures of some of the big Spanish art names such as Juan Jose Aquerreta and Pablo Armesto.

7. Formato Comodo

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Inside the Formato Comodo gallery

Formato Comodo is a gallery owned by the Castellano sisters, Pilar and Mayte. Before opening the gallery in 2007, Pillar used to work as a set designer for Almodovar. The works presented here belong mainly to artists from older generations but young Spanish and international talents have their own spot in the limelight. The place in itself is elegant and it will be a pleasure for you to spend time there, no matter who is exhibiting.

8. Ivory press

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Inside the Ivory press gallery

Architecture exhibitions, curatorial projects, exhibitions of contemporary artists such as Olafur Eliasson and Anselm Kiefer and special publications can all be visited at the Ivory press gallery and publishing house. Elena Ochoa Foster opened it in 1996 and has since organized remarkable art events in the heart of Madrid. It is well worth at least a peek.

9. Nogueras de Blanchard

The Nogueras de Blanchard gallery annually hosts the “Open Call” competition for curators from all over the world. Another interesting event held here is the “Kitchen Talks”, in which artists and curators have a healthy conversation about the industry. Apart from the location in Madrid, there is another Nogueras de Blanchard in Barcelona.

10. Helga de Alvear

Ten Thousand Waves

Isaac Julien’s exhibit at Helga de Alvear, “Ten Thousand Waves”, in 2011

The Helga de Alvear gallery opened in 1995. This 900 square meter space is dedicated to hosting contemporary works of art in photography, installation and video art.

There is no age limit to becoming interested in art. After all, this is the beauty of it. You are supposed to like something without having to explain it. A work of art speaks to you pure and simple and it can happen at an early age or later on in life. You never know when a painting on a wall can sum up your life story in a few dots and well chosen colors. So why not discover it on the walls of any of the numerous Madrid galleries? See how contemporary artists are representing the world we live in and how future generations will see us.