Barcelona Photoblog: art
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art. Show all posts

September 12, 2022

Sant Jordi Fountain Faucet at Barcelona Cathedral Cloister

La Font de Sant Jordi (Saint George Fountain), of which Barcelona Photoblog brings you this faucet detail, is one of the most renown fountains in the city as it is part of the impressive cloister at Barcelona Cathedral, perhaps the second most visited sacred place after Sagrada Familia. 

Although the gothic Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia, built in 150 years, is appealing enough once you set foot on the main nave it wouldn't be that remarkable without its cloister, a well-balanced quiet place, where light, water plants, magnolias, palm trees, geese and medieval fountains create that utmost joyous design that we now prefer to call feng shui. 

The fountain as such, crowned by a 1970 figure (by Emili Colom) of Sant Jordi on his horse on top of a mossy rock, was built under the supervision of architect Andreu Escuder in 1449. Nevertheless, the water was spouting here directly from the mountain of Collserola since 1356. 

This octogonal shaped architectural piece is no ordinary fountain, not only because of these beautiful faucets with intriguing faces that might as well represent archangels or demons on whose rump a small kid figure seems to be riding a bird or a horse (this can be the subject of rivers of ink for an unleashed imagination), but because since 1637 during every Corpus Christi Feast it is adorned with flowers and an empty egg that dances frantically on the water jet. Such tradition is known as L'ou com balla (previous post).

May 01, 2014

Ceiling Frescoes by Salvador Dali at Palace of the Wind, Dali Museum

Ceiling Fresco at Salvador Dali Museum
Ceiling Fresco at Salvador Dali Museum

These giant dancing feet by Salvador Dali can be admired at the ceiling of Palace of the Wind in the Dali Museum of Figueres and they date back to 1972 - 73 when the museum was built upon the remains of the former Figueres theatre. 

Oil on canvas
114 x 570cm
Dalí Theatre-Museum

Palacio del Viento

Dalí created this painting in his workshop in Portlligat, but it was eventually placed on a large scaffolding and installed in his Theatre-Museum. On the first floor of the town theater, the Sala Palau del Vent (‘Wind Palace Room’) was the site of Dalí’s first exhibition in 1919. The painting is based on the poem "L'Empordà" by Joan Maragall, which alludes to the Empordà region of Spain and the tramontana, a strong wind that blows through the region.

In the center of the painting, Dalí depicts himself and Gala in a forced perspective, creating an allegorical representation of the different stages of his life. The painting can be seen as a kind of idyllic journey through Dalí's dreamlike memories. At the end of the painting, Dalí again depicts himself and Gala, this time contemplating the ship of destiny that is about to depart.

Some of the key elements of the painting include:

  • A rain of gold coins falling on the viewer, which Dalí claimed was one real coin.
  • A reference to Lullian wheels, a type of symbol used by the Catalan mystic Ramon Llull.
  • Elephants with insect limbs.
  • The outlined silhouettes of the princes of Spain, who are the current king and queen of Spain.
  • The silhouette of the photographer and friend of Dalí, Melitó Casals, "Meli."

The painting is a complex and allegorical work that offers a unique glimpse into Dalí's life and work. It is a masterpiece of Surrealist art, and it is one of the most important works in the Dalí Theatre-Museum.

Salvador Dalí's painting The Palace of the Wind is a complex and enigmatic work that is full of symbolism. It was created between 1969 and 1973 for the ceiling of the "sala nobile" or rest room of the old municipal theatre in Figueres, Spain. The painting is now on display in the Dalí Theatre-Museum, which is housed in the same building.

The painting consists of five panels, each of which is filled with images that are both familiar and strange. The central panel depicts a large, golden sun that is surrounded by a swirling vortex of clouds. The clouds are populated by a variety of figures, including a woman with a long neck, a giant lobster, and a group of musicians. The other panels depict a variety of other scenes, including a landscape with a castle, a seascape with a boat, and a cityscape with a cathedral.

The Palace of the Wind is a visually stunning work that is full of Dalí's signature surrealist imagery. The painting is a testament to Dalí's incredible imagination and his ability to create images that are both beautiful and disturbing.

The Creation of the Painting

Dalí began working on The Palace of the Wind in 1969, shortly after the purchase of the old municipal theatre in Figueres. The theatre was originally built in 1847, but it had fallen into disrepair by the time Dalí acquired it. Dalí planned to transform the theatre into a museum dedicated to his work, and The Palace of the Wind was to be one of the centerpieces of the museum.

Dalí worked on the painting in several different stages. The first panel was completed in 1970, and it was hoisted into place on the ceiling of the sala nobile on November 13, 1970. The painting was taken down the next day, however, so that the restoration of the theatre could continue.

Dalí continued working on the painting in his studio at Portlligat during 1971-72. He completed the central part of the painting during this time, and he also added the side panels. The entire painting was finally put in place on the ceiling of the sala nobile in 1972 but officially declared completed by the author in 1973.

The Symbolism of the Painting

The symbolism of The Palace of the Wind is complex and has been interpreted in many different ways. Some scholars believe that the painting is a representation of the Empordà region of Spain, where Dalí was born and raised. The Empordà is a region that is known for its winds, and the swirling vortex of clouds in the painting could be seen as a representation of the region's strong winds.

Other scholars believe that the painting is a more personal allegory, representing Dalí's own life and work. The central panel of the painting depicts a large, golden sun that is surrounded by a swirling vortex of clouds. The sun could be seen as a representation of Dalí himself, while the clouds could be seen as representing the challenges and obstacles that he faced in his life.

The other panels of the painting depict a variety of other scenes, including a landscape with a castle, a seascape with a boat, and a cityscape with a cathedral. These scenes could be seen as representing different aspects of Dalí's life and work. The castle could be seen as a representation of Dalí's childhood home, while the seascape could be seen as a representation of his travels. The cityscape could be seen as a representation of his life in Barcelona and Figueres.

The Legacy of the Painting

The Palace of the Wind is one of Dalí's most famous paintings, and it is a centerpiece of the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres

Please check this other post about the Mae West Room.

December 03, 2013

Casa Comalat Backside at Carrer Corsega 316, Barcelona

Casa Comalat: Balcony and Windows

Casa Comalat is one of those secret places of Barcelona everyone would like to discover but sadly it is closed to the public. This Modernista house has two completely different sides which have been featured in Barcelona Photoblog in the past. There is the front side, magnificent, full of adornments, but sober in comparison with the backside façade, at carrer Corsega 316, which I find much more interesting and attractive.

But before we start, you should know some facts: The building is named after the its proprietor, Sr. Comalat, a moneylender that commissioned it to architect Salvador Valeri i Pupurull (1873-1954). Salvador Valeri built a house that is slightly different to other Modernista houses of the times, very rich in ornaments, very decorative, it became a perfect sample of Late Modernisme. Maybe you need a video to fully comprehend what Late Modernisme looked like and to discover what only a local Barcelona TV has unveiled, the inner secrets of Casa Comalat. The video is not in English but you really ought to watch it.

With regards to the Barcelona photo of the day, Casa Comalat Backside, you can appreciate the elaborate  ceramics on balconies and windows by artist Lluís Bru i Salelles and the over-undulating shapes framing wood blinds for the first time in Modernisme. Rigalt i Granell, a renown company at that time, was in charge of the stained glass works. Certainly, never backsides were so much better than front doors.

Previous posts:
Art Nouveau Balconies

October 29, 2013

The Mae West Room at Dali Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Catalonia

Mae West Room by Dali

Today's image was taken at the Museu Dali and it is not a painting but an illusion created by Salvador Dali expressly for the Theater Museum in Figueres (province of Girona, Catalonia).

This work, is indeed based upon one of his paintings: Mae West's Face which May be Used as a Surrealist Apartment, 1934–35.

Mae West had a clear influence on the Catalan artist, particularly in the movie called: She Done Him Wrong (1933) by Lowell Sherman, where she plays a very seductive saloon owner. An important part of the illusion, in the foreground of the composition, are those lips that reminds of a cozy sensual couch, that slightly resembles a wood-and-satin piece of furniture by Dali known as The Mae West Lips Sofa (1937) although that one was pink, or better said, "shocking pink" as the lipstick shade inspired by the actress, developed by fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

For those of you who have not visited the Dali Museum yet, let me tell you that to see the face you have to climb a small set of stairs and look through a sort of circular magnifying glass to better appreciate the isolated objects that integrate the composition.

Salvador Dali, was born in this location in 1904 and was even baptized in the church right in front of the museum. Nevertheless, he did not spend all his life in his hometown.

Dali studied at the Academia de San Fernando (School of Fine Arts) in Madrid in 1922 although he was suspended later, but not for academic reasons. He went many times to Paris and was influenced by Picasso, among other artists. All in all, he became world known as a surrealist artist in the period that goes from 1929 to 1937 in which he produced many of those paintings we admire so much today, such as ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931). Yes, the one with the melting watch!

The artist also visited the United States where he lived for eight years with his wife Gala. From 1950 to 1970 his works included new themes, on many occasions, of religious nature but also erotic or recalling his childhood as in previous years. Gala was also present in his paintings often. After she died in 1982, he was no longer the same, and his health was affected by a motor disorder until his death in 1989. 

December 23, 2009

Cogwheels: Industrial Reminiscence of Catalonia's Past

Cogwheel in sculpture by Antoni Clave, Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Cogwheels that evoke the times of industrial revolution in Europe, times of textile factories in Catalonia, of heavy machinery, of steam and rising unions, of a powerful bourgeoisie interested in new technologies, in productivity, in capitalism and also in the latest artistic trends, as a way to rebel against the heavy yoke of aristocracy and monarchy.

This cogwheel is part of a bigger sculpture placed in Parc de la Ciutadella in 1998 to celebrate the centennial year of the Universal Exhibition in the city. It is a modern sculptoric work by Spanish painter, sculptor, stage and costume designer Antoni Clavé (1913 –2005).

December 09, 2009

Still Life: Wild Partridge Showcase, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona

Wild Partridge Showcase, La Boqueria Market, Barcelona, Spain

Like a painting depicting hunting trophies or a still life portraying dead animals, specially those of hares and birds, appeared before my eyes, imbued with a ghostly bluish-yellowish light, the wild game stand in La Boqueria market. From the mixture of species on display, I cropped this rack of wild partridges so you could take a good peek at the strange artistic beauty that inspired painters in the past, at that mysterious blend of nature, food, life and death evoked with traditional austerity in many Spanish bodegones where dead animals hung from a hook waiting to be skinned and free of any banquet luxury or adornment so often present in similar paintings from other countries in Baroque times. I know this is just a picture of dead wild partridges and you may not find it artistic at all but I wanted you to think about this aspect of painting and the peculiar relationship between art, men and dead animals regarded as something aesthetic.

October 21, 2009

Ficomic, Carrer Palau 4, Barcelona: Street Art on Door

Ficomic, Carrer Palau 4, Barcelona

On one of my photo walks in search for street art I found this beautiful work on a wooden door. I simply took the picture unknowingly of the relevance of the place. At home, and upon zooming in I found that little black sign on the right that says: Ficomic and a small one in white that read, Palau 4 entlo. 1. So far so good. I googled up the company's web and learned that they organize the Salón del Cómic de Barcelona and Salón del Manga both events having great significance in the cultural agenda of the city. So I hope this artsy door acquires the relevance it deserves.

May 30, 2009

Barcelona Head, 1992 by Roy Lichtenstein

Barcelona Head, 1992 by Roy Lichtenstein

Barcelona Head, a sculpture by famous pop artist Roy Lichtenstein can be admired at the end of Moll de la Fusta, that is, the north eastern part of the harbor area (check this google map with the exact location).

Roy was appointed Amici di Barcelona in 1993 by Pasqual Maragall, city mayor during the Olympics. In fact this sculpture was inaugurated for the 1992 Barcelona games as part of the important transformation the wharves underwent during the early 90s. Its 64 feet of concrete and ceramics reminds you of some famous pop art work by the same author: Girl With Hair Ribbon, 1965.

February 20, 2009

Flashy Wall Mural, Barcelona

Flashy Wall Mural, Barcelona [enlarge]

This is some flashy wall mural I found in the Raval area. I don't know exactly what it means although it talks about the power of images and words. The casc antic area (old town) is full of them.

August 26, 2008

Dali Standing on Barcelona Balcony

Dali Standing on Barcelona Balcony [enlarge]

On the balcony of the Reial Circle Artistic de Barcelona there is this cardboard image of Salvador Dalí. This cultural institution is located at Carrer dels Arcs 5. Follow link above for a previous post.

July 04, 2008

La Unión y el Fénix Building, Passeig de Gracia 21, Barcelona, Spain

La Unión y el Fénix Building on Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona, Spain

At Pg. Gràcia, 21 - Diputació, 265 - 267 we find this catalogued building of monumentalist style and French influence. It was built between 1927 and 1931 by architect Eusebi Bona i Puig and sculptors Saint Marceau i Frederic Marés. It is known as the Unión y el Fénix Español building, a Spanish insurance company that appeared in 1879 in Madrid after the fusion of other companies.

The company had venues all over Spain and although the buildings have been used for other purposes over the years, the original architecture has been preserved. The firm, due to an enormous debt had to merge with AGF Insurance (Assurances Gènérales France) in 1994 to form AGF Unión-Fénix which was later absorbed by German Allianz in 1999. It was Allianz who then created Fénix Directo the car insurance company that operates by phone.

La Unión y el Fénix on Passeig de Gracia is both a residential and office building. There are many other examples of monumentalist architecture in the city but this one was rather anachronic in the period it was built since almost all of them appeared after the civil war. It is another example of the efforts of the bourgeoisie to monumentalize Passeig de Gràcia street.

The fact that it is on a corner allowed for a rounded body building topped with a cupola crowned by the old company's symbol, a boy sitting on Phoenix, a mythical bird that dies in flames and is reborn from the ashes. Although according to experts, what the sculpture really represents is the Abduction of Ganymede by Zeus to serve as cupbearer to the gods. Ganymede was a symbol for the ideally beautiful youth in poetry.

April 30, 2008

Holy Water Font or Basin Made With Shell, Colonia Guell's Crypt, Barcelona, Spain

Holy Water Font or Basin Made With Shell, Colonia Guell's Crypt, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

Stationary fonts like this are placed at the entrance to churches as you all know but I am sure you never saw a holy water font made with an enormous shell nor have you seen perhaps such wonderful ironwork pedicle. Nothing is common and ordinary when you enter Gaudi's crypt at Colonia Guell. The place has columns, altar, stain glass and pews as any other church but you have to be prepared to digest the degree of variation of the holy elements. A church was supposed to be on top of the crypt, as the latter was part of a bigger project which started in 1908. In 1917 one year after Gaudi's art patron and friend, Eusebi Guell, died, the work was finally stopped. As you can guess foundations are very solid. Columns are made of basaltic rock and different kinds of bricks. The ceiling is vaulted in the most traditional gothic style. Every arch, every pillar, was precisely calculated with small sacks full of pellets which were tied to the ceiling in Gaudi's workshop by means of small pieces of cloth and string making up what is known as a stereostatic model. The weight of every sack was proportional to the load every arch element had to hold. But everything here is hard to imagine without visiting Colonia Güell of course. By the way, there were some posts in Barcelona Photoblog some time ago that might help: Caprice Supreme of Architecture, Modernist Door and Mosaic, Futurist Windows and Stained Glass

April 08, 2008

Mitoraj: Art and Publicity in Barcelona

Mitoraj: Art and Publicity [enlarge]

When I took this picture some months ago, last summer I think, and I was about to publish it here I suddenly found out that someone else had posted a very similar shot, from the same place. I thought the scene wasn't original enough to show. Things like that happen in public places, you are not the only one around shooting for the web. But now I think, hey, this is my picture, so what the heck, the fact someone posted it first doesn't make me a cheater. So here it is, back from my archives, a detail of one of Igor Mitoraj's itinerant sculptures against a very idyllic billboard at Rambla Catalunya. By the way, the lady, the pose, the golden reflections remind me of (now you will think I went crazy, hmm, more or less) that famous The Graduate scene where Dustin Hoffman is laying back on a beach mattress in the middle of the swimming pool with a hand behind his neck and wearing sunglasses. Need a little help?: The Sounds of Silence. I reckon the comparison is a little ackward, but you know how weird daydreaming can get to be sometimes. How about adding some common sense to the photograph by recalling other Mitoraj sculptures featured in Barcelona Photoblog in the past: A Closer Look on Igor Mitoraj's Sculpture , Grande Toscano, Mysterious Faces, Lying Head and Hold Me Tight.

March 15, 2008

Artistic Office Building- Carrer Londres 106 - Barcelona

Artistic Office Building- Carrer Londres 106 - Barcelona [enlarge]

Well the title today says it all. This is just an office building covered with modern paintings in the form of boxes, where orange and red are predominant, clearly visible if you are walking anywhere near the intersection of Diagonal Avenue, Aribau and Londres streets. To be more precise the right address is Londres 106. The boxes are symmetrically displayed on the façade from street level till the highest floors of the building. I added an Indian summer effect to the background to make the paintings stand out a little bit but the colors in the boxes are real.

October 26, 2007

Women Paintings at Maremagnum Promenade, Barcelona

Women Paintings at Maremagnum Promenade, Barcelona [enlarge]

These paintings of women wearing veils, hats or ties at Maremagnum promenade or Passeig D'Itaca looked so beautiful I decided to take a snap agaisnt the artist's will (check google maps below). I just don't know what gets into their minds when they see a big camera. You come with a small compact and nothing happens, you stick out some big lens and they immediately jump at your throat. Take it easy man, this is free advertising for your work which on the other hand is amazing and hypnotic, according to my opinion. Please buy him some paintings and tell him I was the one he shunned the other day.

October 15, 2007

Art With Exclamation Marks: Stained Glass at Sagrada Familia

Art With Exclamation Marks: Stained Glass at Sagrada Familia [enlarge]

In this picture I tried to isolate these three stained glass windows because of an unusual and reasonable resemblance with exclamations marks. Quality of the image is out of the question, that is, don't ask cause it is awful. I just wanted to highlight the punctuation marks and how they might be used as part of some publicity campaign or something to emphasize the work of Gaudi and his art, art with exclamation marks!!!

June 28, 2007

Mosaic Work Called Trencadis by Gaudi at Park Guell

Mosaic Work Called Trencadis by Gaudi at Park Guell

A closeup of a serpentine bench adorned with mosaic work known as trencadis at Park Guell, Barcelona.

Trencadis, the technique that consists in breaking tiles of different patterns and different shapes to compose a single mosaic was constantly used by Antoni Gaudi and his followers. This particular shard with numbers on it reminds me of notations made by master masons or stone cutters on ancient walls.

June 26, 2007

Guell Crypt: Caprice Supreme of Architecture

Guell Crypt Modernist Ceiling by Gaudi

A supreme caprice of architecture: the art nouveau or modernist ceiling at the entrance to the crypt in Colonia Guell by Antoni Gaudi, who had been commissioned by Eusebi Güell the prosperous catalan businessman. Robert Hughes, art critic for Time, recently said he hates Sagrada Familia but loves Colonia Guell, the place where the crypt is. Of course we can object to that if we get carried out by the grandeur of the cathedral. Besides, experts see what we cannot see, no wonder they've been studying for years, although what we understand by art is a concept of man and not a law of nature so no one has the final truth. Anyway, it was about time someone cast a shadow of doubt over stereotypes concerning our city. I suggest you read the book by Robert Hughes: Barcelona. Here is a previous post about the Crypt at Guell Colony.

June 22, 2007

Lorenzo Quinn: Beer Pump Sculpture for Barcelona Auditorium

Lorenzo Quinn: Beer Pump Sculpture for Barcelona Auditorium

One of the most artistic and impressive beer pumps I have ever seen (I've seen many!) is this sculpture that Lorenzo Quinn dedicated to L'Auditori of Barcelona (Barcelona Auditorium).

The bronze sinewy arm holding a golden jar of San Miguel beer is just a tiny drop in the vast collection of the famous sculptor born in Rome in 1966, son of Anthony Quinn and Jolanda Addolori and brother of four.

At present he lives in Barcelona with his wife Giovanna and their two sons, Christopher and Nicolás.

He studied art at the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York.

June 14, 2007

Art Nouveau Balcony: An Integrating Modern Style


As you know Art Nouveau distinctive features are the use of ornamental shapes and patterns, mainly organic like these animals protruding from the balcony. Art Nouveau was as an international art movement with different names: Jugendstil, in Germany, Stile Liberty in Italy, Sezession in Austria and Modernism in Spain. It integrates different streams in art and design. For example, see this balcony, the abundance of motifs is almost Baroque in style and that bird might as well stand for a gargoyle on any gothic cathedral but at the same time all those characteristic natural elements seem to writhe and adopt impossible innovative forms breaking all previous canons. Most of all it is an emphasis on decorative arts based upon craftsmanship that goes hand in hand with symbolism, a consequence of industrial revolution, the constant search for modernity and the rupture with XIX historicism in arts.
Web Analytics