Dali House

It’s a small town several hours north of Barcelona, but Figueres is birthplace to larger-than-life Salvador Dali.  We were surprised to learn that Teatre-Museu Dali takes second place (after the Prado) for most visited museum in Spain. Not bad for a tiny town tucked away near the French border.

Barcelona – The Spanish Masters

Man in a beret.  1895

Man in a beret. 1895

Still Life.  1901

Still Life. 1901

If art were food and wine, we’d have gained 300 pounds this past week alone. In our short stint in Barcelona, we have quite stuffed ourselves on Gaudi, Picasso, and Miro.

So far, the most surprising visit has been the Museu Picasso, not your everyday Picasso museum. The collection here chronicles his early years and features sketches and paintings rarely seen in U.S. exhibits. In addition to the usual abstract and Cubist menu, the works highlight Picasso’s very traditional training and feature his drawings, Impressionist-inspired still-lifes and classical oil portraits. One museum monitor aggressively chased out a visitor attempting to steal a snap of L’espera.  Photos were strictly prohibited but the museum provides samples from their catalog.

Pitcher.  1914

Pitcher. 1914

Portrait of a young girl. 1919

Portrait of a young girl. 1919

An extra special treat was the Miro Foundation. The curators didn’t do quite as good a job at showing the transformation from Miro’s early years to later ones, but the collection thoroughly displays the influence of Japanese portraiture and calligraphy.  In addition to paintings and tapistries, the museum has countless sculptures. Like Picasso, Miro’s classical training is hard to miss in his earlier work in oil and pastel. Tons of other goodies and an excellent catalog found here:  Miro Foundation Gallery


And then there’s Antoni Gaudi.  I’m not big on churches in general, but in the name of architecture, La Sagrada Familia is worth wading through the throngs of tourists.  A few photo ops to demonstrate the very labor intensive feat that is still underway.  (Speaking of labor, signs everywhere implored people to keep silent and respect the spirituality of the space. Never mind all the stone grinders and jackhammers.) I’ll let their website handle all the pretty photos.  Virtual tour here.

And the buffet continues tomorrow in Figueres, Dali’s hometown.