From your damp correspondent, just back from Barcelona

 

 

I am sorry that I have not posted anything for a while, but I have really been suffering with some horrible bug.  I am starting to feel better, but my voice is so wrecked from coughing that I sound like a mixed bag of sandpaper and marbles.  I have just returned from what sounds like it should have been a glamorous weekend in Barcelona where I was chairing a meeting of an international scholarly group SCOS (www.scos.org).  The meeting was on Saturday and I thought that I might get to see something nice on Sunday, but it finally stopped raining just as we got on the bus back to the airport.  Real mediterranean rain – like standing under a shower.  So, I did make it to Museo Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (www.mnac.es), the National Museum of Catalan Art, which I think is one of the most stunning and not terribly well-known museums in the world.  We went because it was under cover, but also because it has a section on Romanesque church wall paintings which has to be seen to be believed.  The paintings which were saved from church interiors all over the region have been beautifully remounted on plaster replicas of their original settings.  Just stunning:

 

 

And:

 

There’s nothing like a good depiction of gruesome martyrdoms to make you count your blessings.

I spent a happy morning with my sketchbook looking at the details around the large panels looking for quilting patterns, and I may well be using some of these in the near future.  But this museum which is incredibly popular with Catalans, deserves to be better known.  It is worth a morning of anybody’s time on a trip to Barcelona, and to my mind, much more inspiring that the usual Gaudi trail – lovely though that is.

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