5 Interesting European Art Galleries
Time to get a bit arty in Europe! If you’re looking for a bit of creative inspiration on your travels, make sure you include the following on your backpacking adventure…
1. Musee de l’Orangerie – Paris
Often overshadowed by the Louvre, don’t miss out on this little Parisian gem. Found at west corner of the Tuileries Gardens next to the Place de la Concorde in France’s capital city, the L’Orangerie gallery is home to a diverse collection of art by all the greats, such as Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir… the list goes on. And it is particularly celebrated for it’s basement rooms dedicated to 8 murals ‘Water Lilies’ by Monet. His huge works of art cover each wall to create the feeling that you’re sitting in the middle of the pond, without a drop of water touching your toes!
2. Dali Theatre Museum – Figueres, near Barcelona
Salvador Dali was born and then went on to die in Figueres, just 2 hours drive from Barcelona. He created The Dali Theatre Museum himself in the former Figueres municipal theatre which was bombed in the civil war. As well as donating many works from his private collection, in true Dali style, he created many new obscure pieces. Particularly popular exhibits are the Mae West room, the Palace of the Wind room, Monument to Francesc Pujols and the Rainy Cadillac. Walk into the wild and wonderful inner workings of Dali’s mind as you wander throughout this magical masterpiece.
St Christopher’s Inn, Barcelona
3. Saatchi Gallery – London
Originally opened in 1985 by Charles Saatchi, co-founder of advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, to exhibit his collection to the public. This is contemporary art at its best! The gallery moved a couple of times before finding its current home on Kings Road in Chelsea. Famed for featuring work predominantly of the non-famous, Saatchi’s exhibitions have often been the springboard for many a creative career. Some of the exhibits have caused controversy over the years, which comes as part of the package with contemporary art which can at times intend to bemuse, stretch and shock our minds. Have a thought-provoking afternoon and expect a bit of head-scratching as you try to work out some of the exhibits’ meaning!
4. East Side Gallery, Berlin Wall
This is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open air gallery in the world! Created back in 1990, this is a 1316 m long section of the Berlin Wall located near the centre of Berlin One side expresses how they saw the oppression, and on the other side (facing the river Spree) stories from people who experienced horrible things in East-Berlin. It’s quite a walk but well worth giving yourself plenty of time to take in this international memorial for freedom. Sadly two-thirds of the paintings have been badly damaged by erosion, graffiti, and vandalism over the years but efforts to restore have been underway for a while now.
5. The Vatican Museums, Rome
This is a whole principality of awe-inspiring art on a highly spiritual level! Masterpiece galore, explore a world of painting, sculpture and religious artifacts collected by popes over the space of many centuries. The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling promises to make your neck-ache well worth the pain! Gaze upwards and take in this breathtaking work by Michelangelo back in the early 1500s. After four years of hard work the fresco was finally completed, with ‘the history of mankind before the coming of Christ’ as its theme. Prepare to be astounded!