Inside the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya are a range of pieces dating back to the 1300’s. As I travelled through the galleries it became clear that early Spanish art was heavily influenced by the Christian religion in the same way that Italian museums are gallery after gallery of saints, church officials and Christian scenes. Of the religious works, two stood out for me. The first being this piece titled ‘Crist cami del Golgota’.

2011 02 17-23

It wasn’t the overall picture that caught my eye but this specific image. I found it haunting.

2011 02 17-22

The next is one that I cannot find on the web but simply found very odd. Titled ‘Nen Jesus triomfant’, a sculpture of a baby Jesus standing on a skull by Lluis Bonifas I Masson. I could find very little on the artist and nothing on the piece. Art is about the viewer interpreting the piece, but I would love to ask what he was thinking. I found it quite disturbing, I could see a dead serpent but a human skull?

2011 02 17-27


One other piece that struck me odd was ‘Nina Cosint’. Is it just me or is poor Nina to be forever remembered as the girl with the gigantic man hands?

2011 02 17-20

In the last gallery we came across more contemporary but, as one of the few English plaques stated, ‘not that unique’ pieces geared towards pleasing the general audience of the time. Personally, I found many rich in color and spectacular. Below are a few photos that I will use as desktop backgrounds.

The first from 1805, ‘Gerro amb flors’. A camera fails to capture how rich this painting is.

2011 02 17-29

A gallery was filled with these landscapes, each with striking deep colors and a style that was clearly ‘de rigueur’ during the late 1800’s in Spain. Perhaps I am just a sucker for a striking sky.

2011 02 17-33

2011 02 17-31

The gallery also contained the famous 15m long canvas depicting The battle of Tetuan from the Spanish-Moroccan war. The scale of the piece was impressive.

The last notable was a small coin section tucked away at the top of the gallery. Moving from 200BC to contemporary times, it documents the evolution of coins and forgery. These were from the BC era.

2011 02 17-25

A nice way to spend a few hours.



I had zero time to tour Barcelona as it was a very busy week, other than an hour in the art museum at the top of the hill on the last day as the event closed. It was raining (again) and overcast. In the distance you could see La Sagrada Familia. I wonder how much it has changed?

2011 02 17-37

From the conference grounds, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya keeps watch .. a beautiful building. What I didn’t realize (until now) is that it is home to several other museums.

The Palau Nacional, the emblematic building of the 1929 International Exhibition, is the home of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. It is situated on the mountain of Montjuïc, a privileged site from where you can enjoy a magnificent and unique view of the city of Barcelona.

The Palau Nacional is situated in a unique setting: Montjuïc, the mountain of museums, leisure and sport, well on the way to becoming an area of culture and life. The institutions you will find spread around the Park, of renowned international prestige, make Montjuïc the museum centre par excellence in Barcelona, with a diverse, complete offer. As well as the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, you can visit the Fundació Joan Miró, the Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya, the Museu Etnològic and CaixaForum, among others.

2011 02 16

The ballroom is spectacular.

2011 02 17-19

2011 02 17-18

And the domes (which you can see from outside) are breathtaking. We just don’t have these types of buildings in Canada.

2011 02 17-36