Thyssen's collection approaches the Catalan landscape

Vestíbul del Caixa Fòrum Tarragona

Rusiñol, Monet, Matisse, Gauguin, Sunyer, Mir, Meifrèn, MiróCaixa Fòrum Tarragona exhibits, until April 21st, a small but exquisite and representative showing of the impressionist universe, paying special attention to the evolution of the Catalan landscape throughout an entire century, from 1850 and 1950. The sixty-odd works shown, all of them belonging to the Baroness Thyssen’s collection, connect the pictorial and artistic reality of the Catalan school of that time, with its closest and most influential international art.

The thing is that “Catalan artists of that time not only were not alone, but also had a true international connection”, tells us Anna Catà, from Auriga Serveis Culturals, the company in charge of the above-mentioned tours, for those people who, with a bit more spare time and interest, are wishing to make the most of the exhibition.

The five fields of the exhibition evoke different stages of this virtuous century, which the public will have to define using concepts, and describe using words. The exercise allows us to realize that, by means of inspiration, we can get to describe the works, and refine substantially on what the realities of each and every moment is concerned, and primarily, on the different genres evolution.

Anna Catà

The showing begins with a landscape by Lluís Rigalt (1814-1894), father of the romantic Catalan landscape painting. Hereafter, the gap existing between this first work and the subsequent paintings is huge. Those are times where artists take an opposite journey to the one most people do. In the height of the industrial revolution, many people decide to leave the countryside and give big cities a try; in the meantime, artists swap the metropolis for the open air in order to shake up the traditional landscape painting. It’s a sort of reconciliation with nature, and the scenes around it. You can see this on the work “Recollint el fenc”, by the artist native of Reus, Baldomer Galofre (1845-1902), and the paintings by Ramón Martí (1826-1894), the great exponent of the Catalan landscape, among other distinguished painters also taking place at the exhibition.


Every cloud has a silver lining… let alone a genre, we could say. The evolution from post-romanticism into symbolism, brings a different type of landscapes, many of them much more urban. From this time, a spectacular painting of the Barcelona Port, by Eliseu Maifrèn, really stands out.

The “Creu del terme”, by Santiago Rusiñol, is one of the exhibition jewels. A painting which bewitches the viewer, thanks to what it says but does not show, or what it explains in a subtle way. And its details.

Naturalist landscapes made using previous drafts, urban sceneries, landscapes painted in full nature, idyllic and deserted landscapes; abstract, figurative and even, landscapes showing the artist’s interior… You’ve got a chance to go into each one of them until April 21st.

By @irodon

Visites guiades


Announced tours for the general public
Catalan: Saturdays and Sundays at 6pm;
Spanish: Sundays at 7pm.
Price per person: 3€
(50% discount for “La Caixa” customers)

Familiar workshop: “Pintant l’aire”
Sundays, March 10th and 24th and April 7th, at 12pm.
Price per family: 6€
(50% discount for “La Caixa” customers)
We’ll paint outdoors the atmosphere surrounding Tarragona, while observing how colours change.

Pictorial gathering for old people
Prior registration at 0034 977 249 871
Price per person: 4€
(50% discount for “La Caixa” customers)
Recommended maximum: 30 people
It’s a 2-hour activity including a quiet tour, followed by a social gathering with a coffee.

Conferences cycle
Price per conference: 4€
(50% discount for “La Caixa” customers)

Thursday, February 21st, at 7pm. “Veure, mirar I sentir el paisatge”, by Daniel Giralt-Miracle, art critical and historian.
Thursday, February 28th, at 7pm. “Amb els ulls posats al Mediterrani. Un diàleg entre les escoles de paisatge francesa i catalane a la col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza”, by Mireia Freixa, Art History lecturer of the University of Barcelona.
Thursday, March 7th, 7pm. “Paisatges desèrtics i solitaris: notes per a una història del paisatgisme català”, by Artur Ramon, antique dealer and art historian.
Thursday, March 14th, 7pm. “D’Altamira a Google Maps. Radiografies del paisatge”, by Ricard Mas, critical and art historian.
Thursday, March 21st, 7pm. “El paisatgisme és la mirada. Un correlate entre arts i lletres”, by Vinyet Panyella, director of the “Consorci del Patrimoni” of Sitges, and writer.

*Translated by Artur Santos