Tag Archives: Rembrandt

Spain, Bilbao – Museo de Bellas Artes and pinxtos tasting

Obviously everyone visits the Guggenheim in Bilbao (and of course I did too) but it is worth taking time to see the Museo de Bellas Artes too. It has a permanent collection including some big names but also houses a great selection of more modern Spanish art. I liked the variety it offers (it is celebrating 110 years of existence this year so there is a retrospective of some of their favourite pieces.

The picture on the left is a Rembrandt on loan from the Dulwich Gallery – it is stunning and unusual to see a portrait of a young female from him. She seems to be jumping out of the picture. On the right is the moustachioed Philip of Spain by Velasquez. I am particularly fond of the Zuloaga painting of the Countess Matthieu de Noailles – bottom right – she looks like a lady who knew her own mind even back in the mid 19th century and apparently she was a trendsetter, writer and contributed to society in many ways.

My favourite in this group is the young girl with the carnation in her mouth – lovely soft colours – by Guiard. Of course the Murillo of St Peter in Tears is pretty good too!

And now on to modern contributions including a huge room with a video exhibit called the infinite garden – it runs for 75 minutes and I happily sat in it for 20 minutes – wish I had had more time. The Spectator by Cronica is also fun – made of paper mache.

And finally I went on a pinxtos tour (pinxtos is roughly the Basque equivalent of tapas but both parts of Spain insist that what they make is very different to the other!). I just know they taste delicious.

Australia, Sydney

Great last weekend in Sydney which is rocking with great art everywhere you turn. First stop was the Art Gallery of NSW which had two great exhibits – photos by Robert Mapplethorpe (whose muse was everyone but especially Patti Smith – if you like rick biographies her first one called When we were Kids is a favourite of mine).

Then on another floor – Dutch Masters including a bunch of Rembrandts on loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

A walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens revealed the quite new Calyx and the largest vertical garden in Australia – possibly the Southern Hemisphere. Thanks to Shane for sending me a photo of how it looked a few months ago – they change it every once in a while so worth going to check it out even if you’ve been before.

And finally a very cool exhibit from Pippilotti Rist at the MCA – I thought this was the best of the lot. It is all visual art so better to experience than see on pictures – if you are in Sydney – GO.

And then I topped it off by scoring a ticket to the wonderful new musical of Muriel’s Wedding – always been a favourite movie of mine and the show is excellent too with some up to date scripting and a very clever take on the whole ABBA connection.

Thank you for the music!