The wonderful exhibition Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado,
continues in our lovely QAG.
While photography of the paintings is rightly forbidden,
there are some large reproductions set along the glass atrium at the gallery entrance.
Looking over the courtyard, you can just see the shapes of yellow tables and chairs in the dappled sunlight,
which beautifully tone with an elegant Still Life with Fruits and Vegetables.
Painted by Juan van der Hamen in 1625, with a typical Spanish dark background, a gathering of apricots and plums in a wicker basket, with a squash to one side and cucumbers and aubergines to the other -
elegant and restrained, and stunningly effective.
The scene is bathed in a golden light undimmed by the fact the painting is nearly 400 years old!
There is a whole room of these gorgeous still-lifes in the exhibition...
Another view of the courtyard, looking across the waterfalls and ponds, to the outdoor cafe under a tree.
And a detail from one of the many religious paintings:
The Assumption of Mary Magdalene, 1670, by Jose Antolinez.
Look at the pretty colouring in this work.
A large section of the exhibition is devoted to the monarchs of Spain, and life at court.
This detail is from Don Tiburcio de Redin y Cruzat, 1635, attributed to Juan Andres Rizi.
The lace collar is richly decorated and fabulously painted, as is the rest of his outfit, fitting for the Field Marshal and General who fought in various Spanish conflicts.
Let us not forget Francisco de Goya, up there with Picasso as one of Spain's most famous artists.
Here a detail from The Pottery Vendor, 1778, a very large work which was a cartoon for the creation of a large wall tapestry. Goya was of course a great social commentator, and the complete painting is rich with detail of various social types and metaphors. Here see the rich lady in her coach, both unattainable to those outside and imprisoned in her own wealthy world.
And so it goes...
I have been in hospital the last few days, having tests.
All were good and clear, which is very reassuring.
Except for one thing: they looked in my brain and said there is nothing there ....