Tuesday, November 5, 2013

National Art Museum of Catalonia

As we discussed what we wanted to see before leaving Barcelona, Amelie suggested the National Palace.  We have admired this building on many occasions.  When she learned that it was an art museum, she was a little put off but still wanted to go.  On October 23rd, with Amelie's approval for a museum day, we raced to the National Art Museum of Catalonia.  The National Palace was built from 1926 - 1929 for the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition.  I found out that it was meant to be temporary so cheap materials were used in the original construction.  The city loved this building so much that later renovations have been done to replace the materials with more substantial substances.  I found this to be particularly interesting at it is a massive building to be constructed for a temporary purpose.  

We started our visit in the Romanesque Collection area that contains works from the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries.   Many of the works here originally adorned rural churches in the Pyrenees and other sites in Old Catalonia.  They set up the rooms to look like the churches.  They also had pictures of the churches from which the murals originated in.  I really enjoyed this area.    

Bobby and I like playing the "what is this painting about" game.  
There was some strange art throughout.  To us this looks like a person is being zapped by eggs.
I am not sure why this would be in a church.
Amelie really likes taking pictures.  I allowed her to use my phone again.
Here she is taking a picture of different ways martyrs have been tortured....Nice....
We walked through the Gothic Collection, Renaissance and Baroque art collection, Modern Art Collection, along with collections of different aristocrats.  It was an expansive museum.  With small kids, you move through these museums at a fast pace.  You cannot sit and scrutinize the works of art.  You glance and you move.  
This was a 3D (hence the 3D glasses) simulation in which you looked a specific features of a church/monument.  Amelie enjoyed using the controls to zoom in and change the day light settings to view the different shadows and more.
Around half way through, we took a snack break is a large concert room.
Amelie and Liam were free to run with no art work being present.
Liam at one point ran to the stairs furthest from us and then sped up to the top before we could stop him.
I liked this portion of one of the paintings.  It made me laugh.  The woman looks exhausted.
What is the baby wearing? Devil horns?  Moms for centuries have been tired. ;)

This painting is from the early 1900's with the construction of Sagrada Família in the background. 
The two pictures at the bottom of the page remind me of something I have been thinking a lot about lately. That is perspective.  I am learning how perspective can be a game changer for outlook, attitude, joy, and so much more.  I began thinking about this while washing the dishes.  The Barcelona apartment did not include a dishwasher; well it did and that was me. Ba-dump-tish!  Seriously though, I started thinking about how I would not complain about unloading the dishwasher when we had one once again.  I would be grateful for the chance to load a machine that did the laborious task of cleaning all of the utensils and dishes that my family went through in a given day.  Loading and unloading the dishwasher seemed very trivial after standing at the sink for at least an hour each day.  I then began to ponder how long would I actually appreciate a dishwasher once I had use of one again.  Would this appreciation last a week, a month, a year?  What other areas of my life will I be more appreciative of once back in the States?  

I have participated in a number of mission trips during my high school and college years.  After coming home from these usually week long experiences, I was always refreshed with new perspectives on life, God, and relationships.  One truth I always walked away with was the joy of those who had so little.  However, within months of being home I feel like I would begin to take for granted the things I promised myself I would not.  I think this naturally happens as life starts to creep in and cloud perspective.  

In talking with Bobby, we think putting ourselves in different experiences periodically throughout our life will be important to help with perspective.  This includes all areas of life: our marriage, our family, serving others, our culture, etc.  I know the example I gave above is a very trivial example, but it helps me see very clearly how important it is to ensure my perspective is where I want it to be.

I also want to be very careful that I am portraying an accurate view of life to my family and friends.  I want my relationships to be deep and meaningful.  I believe this can only be done by painting an accurate picture.  These pictures of Amelie in front of Picasso made me laugh when I saw them.  Amelie was in fine spirits all day (she really liked taking pictures with my phone).  But one of the pictures looked like she was not having a delightful time at all.  This could definitely work the other way around too.  The perspective I portray is important to me.  

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