Art is my passion. All expressions of it – eclectic and wide-ranging. In this blog, I’ll focus on visual arts, some to be found in museums, others on public display or urban architecture.
The excitement of seeing something long admired in real time, right in front of us, can be an unforgettable experience. To see the brush strokes of a great Masterpiece, the genius of expressing not only an image but creating the emotional impact of it, tickles me pink. I know there are lots of you who feel similarly, thus we’ll go on a compact ride of the very best in each port of call.
Western Mediterranean Cruise
Beginning with Barcelona, Spain and ending there as well, I’ll begin with one of the greats – Picasso.
The artist was born here and this Catalan city was dear to him, though he moved to Paris following the art scene of the era.
At the Museu Picasso, inside adjoined medieval palaces you can see the artist’s early works, mainly those up until the end of his blue period. In 1970, the artist left further works to the museum, totaling over 3,000 pieces. A definite must see.
Hours: 9:00am-7:00pm (extended until 9:30pm on Thursday). Closed Monday. Admission: euro 11
Barcelona, aside from boasting amazingly beautiful and interesting architecture, a mingling of ancient with contemporary, also has The Museum of Contemporary Art with its minimalist interior and serious modern works. The building sports natural light, is fascinating in its structure and is another must see.
The Miro Foundation focuses on the works of this daring innovator and it is a truly brilliant collection.
Of course, the mind-boggling works of the famous architect Gaudi, which can be seen all over the city are wonders of creation, beautiful and strange like La Pedrera, La Sacrada Familia, Casa and much more. Gaudi’s work must be seen as he is modernism’s king and his style is stunning and unique.
The great MNAC or The Museu d’art de Catalunya: MUST NOT MISS!
A celebration of Gothic to Modernist art, with Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, Antoni Tapis, Giacometti and traveling exhibits by Salvador Dali and even Velazquez. It’s the Louvre of Barcelona showing the best of Catalan art.
Finally, The Museu National has exhibited collections of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol Salvador Dali. Dadaism and Surrealism, Pop art and more, can all be seen in this magnificent city.
Moving onto Rome, Italy – I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Rome is a city filled with the best museums along with ancient, stunning palazzos.
The Sistine Chapel is beyond words. Michelangelo’s ceiling frescos are probably the most stunningly beautiful, impossibly difficult to execute works of genius ever made.
A man lying on his back atop a 65-foot scaffold, painting the ceiling above with exquisite images, day after day over three years. It is a testament to true brilliance, ingenuity and transcendence. The Descent from Mount Sinai is stunning and takes my breath away.
The National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art is full of 19th and 20th century art’s best sculptures and paintings. Van Gogh, Canova and Modigliani are among the many exhibited.
Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131
Phone: +39 06 322981
Opens at 8:30 AM
Want to see Rubens and Titian? The Galleria Gloria Pamphilj will show you some beauties, plus ornate tapestries and palatial furniture.
National Gallery of Ancient Art in Barberini Palace has an amazing collection of old Masters such like El Greco, Caravaggio and more, inside a gorgeous Baroque Palace.
The Colona Palace is a true jewel of great beauty. The Palace dates back to the 1300s and is full of spectacular art and splendor. It’s one of the oldest and largest private palaces in Rome. The Colona Gallery holds the greatest treasures of the Italian Baroque. The picture of Moses with the tablets of the Law is so full of emotion that it brought tears to my eyes. Adam and Eve by Francesco D’Rossi is beautifully descriptive, Hagar and Yishmael, Rebecca at the Well by Michele are all beyond stunning.
There is so much more but you’d have to be the energizer bunny to cover in one day a mere quarter of what Rome has to offer.
Florence, Italy – If your heart skips a beat by standing in front the masterpieces of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, then The Uffizi, one of the most famous museums in world, displaying the best of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Rafael just to name some of many greats, is perfect for you. The Ufizzi is worth a visit of at least one whole day all on its own.
Much of the art is courtesy of the Medici family’s collection. It’s so overwhelming, I’d advise to join a tour guide so you get to see the most famous wonders of the art world.
The Accademia Gallery, displays the statue of David by Michelangelo, one of the world’s most famous sculptures.
For sculpture lovers, visit the Bargello Museum to visit the greatest and most beloved sculptures in the world. If you still have time, there are museums and galleries in every corner, but these three are guaranteed to fill the day on shore.
Next stop is at the French Riviera and a stop in Nice where the greatest art is the view as well as the celebrities. There are several galleries of no great importance in my opinion, but the notion that you are visiting the world-famous scene of festivals, movie stars and more is a fine segue to Shabbat.
On Sunday you’ll disembark in Barcelona. I felt such gratitude I couldn’t stop smiling.
We become better for it, inspired by the gifts we have witnessed.