Art enthusiasts and would be artists have been travelling to Spain for decades to not only view the incredible amount of fine art that is on display but also to soak up the ambience and experience the things that have allowed Spain to produce so many great artists. Every major city and most town in Spain have at least one museum or gallery with what most art lovers would describe as being an ‘important exhibition’ on show. It is not only the galleries and museums that people come to see though, as much of the fine art that you can view in Spain is on display in many of the ancient churches and cathedrals, much of which has been produced by important and well respected artists.
As you journey around on your tour of the country you will encounter an amazing diversity in the styles of art that has been produced here . This diversity stems from the influence of many occupying nations that have arrived on the Iberian Peninsula over the course of the centuries bringing with them new techniques and ideas. The ‘golden age’ of art in Spain is regarded as being between the 16th-17th centuries when artists such as El Greco, Ribera and Velazquez were producing work. In the 18th century Goya came to the fore while the 20th century brought us the talents of Dali, Miro and Picasso.
Where To Go
Where to go to see the art that has been produced here really depends whether you want to follow the work of a single artist or enjoy Spanish art as a whole. Much of the work of the great artists is spread around the country, but there are a few places to include on your itinerary that contain some remarkable work. Possibly the most celebrated artist of the Renaissance in Spain was El Greco, although not a Spaniard himself coming as he did from the Greek island of Crete. He arrived in Spain and lived in Toledo where he produced much of his portfolio of work. Much of his work is on display in the churches in and around Toledo, although the Prado Museum located in Madrid has some wonderful examples of his work. When you ask the question about Spanish painters there is always some debate about who people regard as being the best, but Diego Velazquez will always be towards the top of the list. He also has works on display in the Prado Museum. The Prado is also the place to go to enjoy some of the major works credited to Francisco Goya. However of you are looking for Pablo Picasso his most famous work, his interpretation of the horrors of the Spanish civil war, entitled ‘Guernica’ is on display in Madrid too, but at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.
Madrid of course is not the only place where you can enjoy the work of the masters. Catalonia also holds many great works, especially within the city of Barcelona. The works of Gaudi are synonymous with the city of Barcelona. This is also where you will find the world famous Picasso Museum. There are plenty of galleries in the city where you can marvel at the work of Joan Miro and in Figueres, just outside of the city you will find the Salvador Dali Museum. As well as the major cities of Madrid and Barcelona you should also make a point of visiting the smaller city if Bilbao where you will find the iconic Guggenheim Museum as well as the somewhat lesser known Museo de Bellas Artes. Valencia too is becoming a place of pilgrimage for art lovers especially the Museum of Fine Arts and the Modern Art Museum. Art is simply everywhere you go in Spain, so whether you enjoy the religious painting found in the churches and the cathedrals or the strange but interesting work of Dali, Spain is a wonderful destination for art lovers.
Whenever Jolande wants to visit the country, she takes the trouble of hiring holiday cars in Spain. This way, she has ample opportunity to visit numerous works of art at her own leisure.