Sunday morning lie in. I had selected two treats for the day and intended to keep it to that. Too much walking around Alicante had made recovery and then riding a bit of a challenge so I’m trying to be sensible with what I can see in a day.
First stop was the Aljafería, a Muslim palace which has been restored over the years to offer a realistic interpretation of what was originally on display to those who used it.The reworkings blend seamlessly with the original. You can see the join in places but I think that is intentional. Also, no religious symbols have been added to prevent any misinterpretation. It is a delight and if you visit this city you must go.
I love the fluidity of Islamic script and the creative use of pattern in Muslim architecture. Staring at it is akin to watching fish in a tank. It is so calming.
From here to the Museo Goya. An excellent gallery with collections showing pre-Goya,Goya, and post-, and a superb dark room which displays 80 etchings whose subjects are a satire on high society and a revulsion of war. Goya loved a bullfight though, and going round this exhibition I have learned a lot more about this centuries old practice.
I have few regrets about my art teacher training but one of them is that I didn’t listen to my tutor who wanted me to explore etching in my work. At the time I was working in screen printing and wanted tp perfect that and my style. Etching seemed too slow.
Now of course, you can’t replicate those practices that you still could in the 70’s. Too much acid involved, man. Hence, I wish I’d done it then.
There are some superb works in this gallery by artists I didn’t know and the gallery also demonstrates the link between Goya and Velazquez. Missing from the sparse gift shop is a book of some of the fine works here. I would have bought one and carried it home.
Emerging from the museo it begins to rain and so rains all afternoon. I’ve been to Spain lots of times and really, I think this is unusual. Daily rain. The locals might tell me differently.
But not to be beaten. Creativity and enjoyment do not depend upon the sun. And so, an afternoon of shots from a rainy afternoon Zaragoza rest day…