Archive for September, 2018

Spain’s picturesque scenery, rich culture and fascinating people have been the subject for countless artists throughout the years. Here are eleven Spanish destinations which have been the inspiration for some of the most impressive works of art:

  1. Toledo
  2. Madrid
  3. Figueres
  4. Valencia
  5. Barcelona
  6. Majorca
  7. Málaga
  8. Lanzarote
  9. San Sebastián
  10. Cordoba
  11. Sevilla


1) Toledo

The famous Greek Renaissance artist Doménikos Theotokópoulos, better known as ‘El Greco’, is thought to have spent up to 40 of his most creative years in Toledo, a World Heritage city approximately thirty minutes outside of Madrid. His painting View and Plan of Toledo depicts some of the city’s most recognisable monuments, including the Alcázar, the Puerta de Bisagra and the Hospital Tavera, which have remained intact to this day.



View and Plan of Toledo by El Greco, approx. 1610-1614


2) Madrid

One of the most important artists to have come from Spain, Francisco Goya, often depicted daily and traditional life in Madrid in his artwork. For example, in his piece The Hermitage of Saint Isidore. The scene depicts the traditional drinking from the San Isidro spring and is an occasion which is still celebrated today at the San Isidro fiesta.



The Hermitage of Saint Isidore on the Saint Feast’s Day by Francisco Goya, 1788


3) Figueres

This town in Catalonia is the birthplace of the famous Salvador Dali, and was the artist’s self-confessed “permanent inspiration”. In Figueres, you will find the Dali Theatre museum which was designed by Dali himself, and contains the crypt with his tomb. The surrounding areas of Figueres form the Dalinian Triangle, containing the museums of Portlligat and Púbol.



The Dalí Theatre Museum, 1974


4) Valencia

The work of Valencia-born painter Joaquin Soralla allows the viewer to imagine the sea breeze and the heat of the sun’s rays on the beaches of Valencia. His painting, Paseo a orillas del mar, beautifully depicts his wife and daughter walking along the beach in Valencia in the summer of 1909.



Paseo a orillas del mar by Joaquin Soralla, 1909 


5) Barcelona

The city of Barcelona is world-renowned for its stunning architecture, designed by the famous Gaudí. Gaudí studied in Barcelona and some of his most notable works include Park Güell, Casa Batlló, the Basilica of La Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà. Gaudí became so important to Barcelona that when he died in 1926, many of the city’s residents took to the streets to pay their respects.



Park Güell designed by Gaudí, 1926


6) Majorca

On the island of Majorca, one can visit the studios of Joan Miró, a Spanish painter whose parents are grandparents were born here. Miró believed that Majorca “is a truly beautiful land; in certain places you can still find the freshness of the first days of creation”, and was very much inspired by the nature and tranquillity of the island.



Flowers and Butterfly by Joan Miró, 1922


7) Málaga

The importance of the famous Pablo Picasso in his hometown of Malaga is reflected through a walking tour, his Birthplace Museum and the Museo Picasso Málaga. Here he painted bullfights and Málaga’s beautiful landscapes which so often inspired him. However, his most famous piece does not depict Málaga, but rather the bombings of the Basque town of Guernica in 1937 which has become a universal symbol against brutality.



Mountains of Málaga by Pablo Picasso, 1896


8) Lanzarote

For artist César Manrique, Lanzarote was the inspiration for much of his work. He said, “for me, it was the most beautiful place on Earth, and I realised that if people could see it through my eyes, they’d think the same.” This is the reason we can see so many of Lanzarote’s most notable features in his work; such as the Jameos del Agua caves, the Monument to the Peasant, the Mirador del Río viewing point and the Cactus Garden.



La Pesca by César Manrique, 1950


9) San Sebastián

The famous ‘Wind Comb’ by Spanish sculptor Eduardo Chillida was inspired by the beautiful bay of his home town, San Sebastián. This piece is a perfect example of nature and art being blended together and has turned a part of San Sebastián’s Ondarreta beach into an almost magical place.


san sebastian

Wind Comb by Eduardo Chillida, 1977


10) Cordoba

Artist Julio Romero is known for his expert depiction of the women of Cordoba in his work. If you look at his famous La Chiquita Piconera, you can see the Guadalquivir River, the Roman Bridge, and the Calahorra Tower in the background, all of which are unmistakeable symbols of Cordoba.



La Chiquita Piconera by Julio Romero, 1930


11) Seville

Seville’s variety of beautiful monuments and features mean that it is often a source of great inspiration for those who are discovering it for the first time. Take a stroll through the Santa Cruz neighbourhood, visit the Cathedral or the Giralda Tower, have your photo taken on the Triana Bridge or relax in the Plaza de España and you will understand all of what Seville has to offer. Perhaps this is why great Spanish artists such as Diego Velázquez and Esteban Murillo – whose work is so closely linked to the city – come from Seville.



St Isidore de Sevilla by Esteban Murillo, 1654


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art map

Map locating each city


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