Cáceres: you could shoot a medieval movie here and wouldn’t even have to remove the cars

Cáceres has an old walled town in its center.  Walk around and you are in the middle ages, given the buildings, the stone streets and total absence of cars.  There is a blend of Roman, Moorish, Gothic and Italian Renaissance architecture, not to mention the stork nests.   There are thirty towers from the Islamic period still standing.

Humans have inhabited the area since prehistoric times. Evidence of this can be found in the caves of Maltravieso, with cave paintings dating to 25,000 BCE.  The city was founded by the Romans in 25 BC and is a Unesco World Heritage Site, quite justifiably so.

Cáceres is in the part of Spain called Extremadura.  I always thought that the name Extremadura referred to the extremely hard (dura) quality of the soil and life there but more accurately extremadura is from Latin words meaning literally “outermost hard”, the outermost secure border of an occupied territory.  During La Reconquista it was the westernmost holding of the Christians.

caceres cathedral

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Sorolla- Notes in the sand (Apuntes en la arena)

Sorolla: Notes in the sand – Apuntes en la arena

(Exhibit at El Carmen Museum, Valencia, Spain)

Fisherman of Valencia, Pescadores de Valencia
Fisherman of Valencia, Pescadores de Valencia

April 15, 2016

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863 – 1923) is known as a master of light and for his portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes, many in the impressionist style.  Many of his paintings are housed at the Museo Sorolla in Madrid, while there are monumental works permanently exhibited at the Hispanic Society in New York.  The El Carmen Museum in Valencia (http://www.consorciomuseos.gva.es/SOROLLA,-APUNTES-EN-LA-ARENA.asp) is currently exhibiting an excellent collection of Joaquin Sorolla’s paintings of Valencian beach scenes.  You can see a few of the 100 works below.

Fisherman of Valencia, Pescadores de Valencia
Fisherman of Valencia, Pescadores de Valencia

He gained tremendous notice from the painting and exhibition of Sad Inheritance.  This painting featured children effected by the polio epidemic circa 1900.

Triste Herencia, Sad Inheritance
Triste Herencia, Sad Inheritance


Pillo de Playa
Pillo de Playa
Children on the Beach-- Niños en la Playa
Children on the Beach– Niños en la Playa

Children on the Beach sold at auction for 3.5 million euros.

Despite his mastery of the medium and tremendous production he is little known outside Spain.

For biographical information go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_Sorolla

Neat Spanish Poster Art from the 1920’s (photos)IM

March 28, 2016

MUVIM (Valencian Museum of Modernity and Illustration) is now exhibiting poster art, some paintings and a few old films of the era, starting in the 1920’s.  Spain suffered through a civil war from 1936-39.  Fatalities numbered in the 400.000 range, with another 200,000 murdered by Franco’s Falangists after the war, and atrocities by both sides during the war.  Some of the art refers to this period.  Other pieces advertise Valencia’s annual summer fair, Fallas (the annual carnival in March of each year) and other events.

The first one below refers to Valencia’s annual summer fair, the second to Fallas, the annual carnival that takes place in March each year; you can see the fire burning the statue (red area).

Advertising Fallas




Defeating fascism
Encouraging people to open their homes to evacuees

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