Art in Spain –
Art from Spain
Art is a part of the Spanish culture and a worthwhile way to spend some of your time during a family vacation to Spain. You’ll see a wide variety of art styles and forms so there is something for everyone. Do you want to see something famous so you can check that off your bucket list? Do you want to see something that helped shape the country? Do you want to see something that strikes you are pretty or inspirational or bizarre? Spanish art has all of this and more!
One of the most famous masters of art in Spain is none other than Pablo Picasso, himself! While some think of him as French because he loved France, and often wore a beret, too, he was born in Spain. Have some fun learning about Picasso – interesting facts!
Art in Spain – Pablo Picasso Fun Facts –
- Pablo Picasso’s mom must not have been able to choose a name for him easily! Instead she just gave him 23 words for a name. Yes….23 words. Imagine being the kindergarten teacher for him. He would need an entire page just to write his name. Drum roll, please….here is Pablo Picasso’s FULL name:
“Pablo Diego Jose Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso”
- No one knows for sure but it is possible Picasso was a premature baby. He was so small that the nurse thought he was stillborn and laid him on a table and went to tend to his mother. His uncle noticed he was breathing and began to take care of him.
- His art lessons began at age 7 and his first teacher was his father.
- His first word was related to art! He said, “Pencil” in Spanish.
- Picasso was a dreadful student (Did his distaste of education begin in kindergarten when he tried to learn how to spell his insanely long name?) and was often given detention – probably for drawing in class.
- He cofounded the movement ‘cubism’ for which is very famous.
- Inspite of being known for his strangely shaped people during his cubism period, he actually was able to paint in many different styles including realism!
Art in Spain – Pablo Picasso Interesting Facts –
- He was quite the philanderer and was married twice and had four children by three different women along with literally hundreds of mistresses. His requirements for the ‘perfect’ woman was that she be submissive and shorter than him. He was 5′ 4″.
- His most admired teacher and friend was fellow painter, Paul Cezanne.
- He purchased a chateau in France upon the mountain which often served as the topic of paintings by his dear friend Cezanne. It is on grounds of this French chateau where Picasso is buried.
- Picasso was fiery tempered. He carried around a gun filled with blanks and he shot at people he thought were boring and those who insulted his friend Paul Cezanne.
- He painted four out of 15 of the world’s most expensive paintings.
Pablo Picasso Famous Painting
Pablo Picasso was one of the worlds’ most prolific painters and you can’t talk about art in Spain without including him. It is listed in the Guinness World Book of Records that he created more than 147,800 pieces of artworks in many different forms: paintings, engravings, prints, illustrations in books and sculptures. He even wrote poetry!
There is a lot of discussion as to which Pablo Picasso Painting is the most famous, but Guernica is the one that resonates most deeply in Spain.
Guernica – 1937
This piece of art in Spain is one of the most special to the Spanish people and it hangs in the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. The town of Guernica has the unfortunate claim to fame as being the first town destroyed by the bombs from Nazi aircraft in the Spanish civil war and this piece of art serves as an anti-war message.
There is a lot of wonderful art in Spain and famous artists which hail from Spain! The most famous is Pablo Picasso but closely behind is Francisco Goya.
The Spanish Painter Goya
Art in Spain – Francisco Goya Artwork
Francisco Goya’s artwork includes some really intense artwork. He was the first to paint a life sized female nude which included pubic hair. His artwork includes an intense piece entitled “Saturn Devouring his Son”. It is just as gruesome as it sounds but his artwork of the royal family is just lovely. Choose carefully which paintings you want to see if you are taking young children.
- Initially Goya was rejected by an art school he wanted to attend. Only after he gained some success did they accept him as a student.
- He became deaf and some think it is because of lead poisoning from lead paint commonly used at the time. Others think he suffered from other types of disorders like Meniere’s disease or viral encephalitis.
- Goya spend some time in Rome for a colorful reason. Some say he ran there with a gang of bullfighters and others think he was running away from a nun who had become his love interest.
- His love of painting began when he created the sketches for a tapestry factory in Madrid.
Francisco Goya Quotes
Artists are often colorful people! They express themselves mostly visually though their art but here are few Francisco Goya quotes when he expressed his interesting ideas with words.
“In art, there is no need for color; I see only light and shade. Give me a crayon and I will paint your portrait.”
“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”
“Painting, like poetry, chooses from universals what is most opposite. It brings together, in a single imaginary being, circumstances and characteristics which occur in nature in many different persons.”
“The act of painting is about one heart telling another heart where he found salvation.”
“First be a magnificent artist and then you can do whatever, but the art must be first.”
Art in Spain – Salvador Dali Artwork
Art from Spain comes in many different forms. If surreal artwork is more your style then you will love Salvador Dali and his art. You’ll also love Salvador Dali if you love the eccentric and strange.
Salvador Dali was a larger than life character and a big part of art in Spain. Once he showed up at one of his art exhibits in a white Rolls Royce Phantom II convertible car that was full of cauliflower – 1100 pounds of cauliflower. He said, “everything ends up in the cauliflower!”.
He once gave a speech while wearing an old fashioned deep sea diving suit. It was air tight and he began to suffocate while giving his talk. At first no one realized this because he was always so oddly animated that they didn’t recognize his flailing around and odd facial expressions as a call for help.
Enjoy these facts about the unusual painter, Salvador Dali.
Fun Facts about Salvador Dali:
- He took facial hair very seriously. His trademark long and skinny mustache is one of the most influential pieces of facial hair in history. Yes, that really is a thing – an influential piece of facial hair.
- Dali was approached by Walt Disney to create something after the strange Disney movie Fantasia. The short musical called Destino wasn’t completed but you can watch a 6 minute short here – Destino.
- Master of the unusual style of art called surrealism which involved Dali painting things from his dreams among other types of interpretation.
- He opened his own museum in Catalonia, Spain and it has giant eggs along the roofline. It is the largest surrealistic structure in the world.
- His art isn’t the only thing that seems to stretch ideas of reality. He once told someone a painting was very expensive because the paint was mixed with the venom of a million wasps. He often got out of paying his bills because he would draw on the back of his check. No one would cash a check with a Dali drawing on the back so he never had to pay.
Salvador Dali Quotes:
“Take me, I am the drug; take me, I am hallucinogenic”
” I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.”
“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”
“The difference between false memories and true ones is the same for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.”
Don’t leave home without the travel activity guides for the kids! These guides keep the kids happily engaged and learning about the journey. Perfect for your family vacation.
Natalie, The Educational Tourist