Friday, September 21, 2012


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 ....


Adios Amigos!



  1. Ha, Ha!!! Reminds me of the old "there's nothing right in my left brain, and nothing left in my right brain" - glad everything was OK...

    1. Hi Judith, welcome to my blog. I haven't heard your version of this joke - I'll use this one now!
      PS the doc really said that, which made me laugh.

  2. Yep, old joke that one, I'm glad all is well.

    1. Thanks Valerie - I need to do some therapeutic sewing now I am back home.

  3. So glad all the tests went well. Doctors do say the funniest things. One of my best friends is a doctor and he is just as clueless at home.
    The grounds of your museum are wonderful. I am a fan of yellow and those tables and chairs make me want to grab a flight and come and sit there. And see those paintings in person. I went to an exhibition of Goya's ivory miniatures in London and was just stunned. What a master!

    1. Fellow yellow-lover Beryl, I would happily take a selection of that yellow furniture home to sit on my deck! Goya ivory miniatures sound amazing - I have not heard about those. There is a whole room of his etchings in the exhibition which is very popular.

  4. Sounds and looks like a wonderful exhibition. I would jump at the chance to attend! Glad your test results were good!

    1. We love it when famous world art travels to us in the antipodes, Sulky! Thanks to modern aircraft and methods of transportation. The exhibition is attracting large crowds, of course.

  5. Buonos tarde Patricia..
    Join the clan.. My brain at the moment , seems to be stagnant.): The extreme heat is bowling us all over.
    It hasn't rained here since may.
    This is a wonderful post. You have edited it so well and your photos are great.
    The El Prado is one of the world's finest museums and holds some of the worlds greatest painters. When I visited, i bought copies of some of the paintings. They are framed and on my old farm house wall.
    happy weekend.
    very very pleased for you, that all is clear. Thank our dear lord.
    val xxxx

    1. Hello Val, glad you like my post. The other day I found a book my parents bought at the Prado in the 1970s, and in it are photos of many paintings which are currently visiting us. I was so excited! Clearly, we have a selection of some of their paintings which are very highly regarded. We don't have Las Meninas, (that would be impossible) but we have Philip IV in hunting garb, which hangs next to it. My parents brought me a large copy of a Goya, which hung in our house until a couple of years ago, by which time it had discoloured and was all blue! Lovely that you have several in your farm house. Hasn't rained here since June - nearly as bad as Portugal!! Happy Sunday, xxxx

  6. When you commented on my blog and remarked you had been away for a few days I expected you were enjoying a little holiday Not in hospital undergoing tests!
    I am very happy to learn everything is AOK! It's nice when doctors have a sense of humour.

    1. Not exactly a holiday, Annie :) It was a very busy time. It is reassuring when you know some bits of you are in good working order! xx

  7. I am so happy to hear about your test results. Well done!
    Whoever got the idea of placing the pieces of art on display on the glass atrium, deserves ten stars. Brilliant.
    I bet having them out there in the open will attract people, who normally wouldn´t, to finally enter the exhibition!

    1. Thanks Mette, onwards and upwards for me now!
      Ten stars indeed, for the design of this exhibition. The walls opposite the glass are painted a bright Spanish red which looks fantastic.

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