Tuesday, 5 November 2013

A weekend of writing and art in Madrid

Last weekend was a long weekend here in Spain, so we left Santander and headed down to our old stomping grounds of Madrid to see family and soak up some culture.

One big event was hooking up with my old writer's group. They'd organized a write-a-thon for the first day of National Novel Writing Month. We took over the back room of one of my favorite cafes and wrote like mad! It was very cool to sit with a room full of people all writing novels.

My wife and I also got to see some art exhibitions, something that's sadly lacking in Santander. Many of the best shows are at private galleries owned by banks. The FundaciĆ³n Mapfre has two exhibitions on currently. One is called MACCHIAIOLI: Impressionistic Realism in Italy. This was a mid-nineteenth century movement that broke away from the strictures of Classical painting and paved the way for Impressionism. Here's a bunch of them enjoying themselves in true Italian style.
They were against the snobbery of the establishment and to prove their point often painted their work on the backs of cigar boxes and other found objects, like this nice landscape.

Many fought in the Italian wars of unification and painted their experiences.
They also added some social commentary.
The second exhibition covered the history of photography in Spain, with everything from early Daguerreotypes to photos of La Movida, the flowering of culture in the 1980s after the fall of Fascism.

All images courtesy FundaciĆ³n Mapfre.

1 comment:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you got some writing time in with your former group.
Those paintings are really nice.

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.