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Back from Zaragoza

Back from Zaragoza

Photo by João Silas on Unsplash


The air in Zaragoza in Spain was hot and dry. Day time temperatures soared above 40 Celsius prompting siestas. Jaime and Isabel enjoyed a few sleep overs at their grandparents which allowed Emilio and I some time to play tourists while also celebrating our anniversary. Yes, we made a greater effort at celebrating this year, inspired by the book “The Power of Moments” and having recently done the New York Times’ 7-Day Love Challenge. 💕

One of our touristic activity included a visit to The Museo Goya - Colección Ibercaja which is located in the city centre, in a house, built in the early 16th century. The museum has an art collection dedicated to the highly acclaimed Spanish artist called Francisco de Goya who was born in the province of Zaragoza c. 270 years ago. I was only familiar with a few of his pieces: this memorable nude and its clothed twin during a visit to Museo Del Prado in Madrid many years ago. The visit was a proper introduction to Goya.

Museo Goya - Colección Ibercaja

The display begins with a collection of Baroque art which had an influence on Goya in his youth and ends with more modern pieces which were inspired by Goya. The art by Goya himself are relatively few. Understandably so given his standing as an influential artist and that his major pieces are on show in larger museums in cities much bigger than Zaragoza (no offense intended Emilio - we all know that Zaragoza is huge being the 5th largest in Spain 😘).

Still, the few that are present are significant: self-portraits, the acclaimed portrait of the military officer Félix de Azara (1805) and a smaller version of Second of May 1808. Also, Goya’s entire series of prints.

The series of prints were almost too heavy and dark for me to digest, especially in one sitting. Whilst thought provoking, a number of these prints contained gory and gruesome images. Goya chronicled the terrible impact of the war that we in the English speaking world refer to as the Peninsular War and what the Spaniards including Emilio refer to as “Guerra de la Independencia”. He was performing the task of a photographer of war.

So many questions! The visit led me to research on Goya, the Peninsular War, Enlightenment, etc. (I focused in economics at university did not study European art nor history in secondary school). I’m aiming to share with you a short and long version of what I’ve discovered. Till then!

To be continued.

Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya

Summer Holidays & Packing

Summer Holidays & Packing