Barcelona’s most beautiful and prestigious art museum, the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC), is located at Montjuïc at the end of Avinguda de la Reina María Cristina. This is where the Magic Fountain shows take place. Its classic Spanish Renaissance style was completed in 1929, years later, extensions were added to the Palau Nacional. The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya left an everlasting impression on me. Its architectural structure from the inside-out is breathtaking. From the outside, it is surrounded by fountains, statues, pillars, and steep flights of stairs that add to its incredible beauty. On the inside, about 540,000 sq ft, the MNAC has over thousands of displays of art from collections featuring romanesque art, gothic art, renaissance and baroque art.
Growing up in a household that appreciates artwork, I have visited many art museums throughout the years. One museum, the The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, left an impact on me. Experiencing Dali’s incredibly detailed surrealist images made me appreciate art on a deeper level. Visiting the MNAC brought back familiar emotions from previous experiences of discovering new, meaningful art pieces.
As a class, we dove into themes of perception, appreciation and description of art. Moving through different exhibits of the museum, we analyzed art work in pairs, small groups and as a class. One activity that challenged me was the interpretation of visual data. I chose a surrealist piece called The Moon Fisher by Modest Cuixart, and interpreted the visual data to my group members. Without any background knowledge of the artist or painting itself, I had to convince the audience that my interpretation of the painting was in fact 100% true. We called ourselves Dr. Expert.
I fell in love with The Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and visited it the very next night on a long run. To my surprise, there were multiple crowds of people lounging around the steps of the museum, admiring the Magic Fountain and taking pictures of Barcelona’s breathtaking view. Engulfed in the beautiful atmosphere and positive energy, this experience was quite emotional for me. I felt a sense of unity and appreciation from the people visiting the MNAC that night. For the first time, I felt immersed in Barcelona’s culture.