And everywhere color: Barcelona

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScreen shot 2013-01-14 at 11.00.35 PM

Barcelona is brilliant. Even when lit by a winter sun.

Truth be told, I’ve been avoiding winter. Or maybe winter’s been avoiding me.

Auch’s cold spells have been empty threats. Nantes’ Noël was mild and rainy. Madrid was crisp but sunny, like a tangy-sweet apple.

Barcelona was almost tropical.

I explored with my coat unbuttoned, my scarf loosely draped around my neck and shoulders. Aesthetic, not purely functional.

I saw palm trees again. I walked barefoot in rough sand and dipped my toes in the sea, tricking myself into thinking I was home before the sun betrayed my fantasy and refused to set over the water.

Light and shadow crept up grand boulevards, flitted through the narrow streets of the Barri Gòtic, and came to a crescendo among the pillars and buttresses of the Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia.*

And everywhere color.

Vivid. Saturated. Radiant.

And everywhere Gaudí.

An artist is a slave to light. If and when he captures it, he briefly becomes its master.

Gaudí’s works shine against Barcelona like kaleidoscopic rainbows scattered by a crystal, twinkling and dancing against a warm wooden floor.

His approach to light is manipulative, mischievous and playful. He twists, filters, harnesses.

And each element—from the smallest glinting tile shard to blinding religious symbolism—is calculated and deliberate. Masterful.

And brilliant.

Gaudí, Sagrada Família, Barcelona

The façade of Gaudí’s unfinished magnum opus, the Sagrada Família

Gaudí, Sagrada Família, Barcelona

Sagrada Família, interior

View from the terrace at Parc Güell.

View from the terrace at Parc Güell

Gaudí, Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens

The façade of Casa Batlló.

The façade of Casa Batlló

Looking out on the Passeig de Gràcia from Casa Batlló

Looking out on the Passeig de Gràcia from Casa Batlló’s living room

Casa Batlló's light well. A work in shades of blue. At the ground level the walls are a shadowy blue-gray. At the top, vivid cobalt and aquamarine.

Gazing up Casa Batlló‘s light well, a work in shades of blue. At ground level the walls are a shadowy blue-gray. Up top, vivid cobalt and aquamarine.

Whimsical chimneys on the illuminated rooftop of Casa Batlló.

Whimsical chimneys on Casa Batlló‘s glowing rooftop

*The Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia has usurped the title of “Favorite Cathedral”; Bordeaux’s Cathédrale Saint-André henceforth holds the title of “Favorite Cathedral in France.”

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Click here for more photos from Barcelona.

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3 comments

  1. The stunning photos make it seem as though I was there with you (which I wish I was)! Now I have another place on my list of places to go before I die (and it is quite high on the list). Thank you.

  2. Carlitos Canedo · · Reply

    You gotta love Barcelona!!

  3. […] spent seven days in Istanbul, but I wouldn’t say that I know it the way I know Amsterdam, Barcelona, Venice, or any other major city in which I’ve spent considerably less […]

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