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Scenes from the collection at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

May 10, 2014

In my first post from my recent trip to Spain, I gave a little background on the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – the Museum of National Art of Catalonia (I also reviewed it on TripAdvisor).  It has a really wonderful collection of Medieval Gothic and Romanesque art.  I also appreciated that they let you take pictures, which was not allowed at the other two museums we visited.

This post focuses on the Medieval Romanesque mural paintings from the 11th-13th century.  It is amazing to see works that old still retain detail and color.   What is really fascinating is how these paintings were saved from the churches that originally housed them. They were painted on the walls of the churches, so they can’t be removed like a traditional frames painting.  The painting is actually transferred from the wall to another medium, then attached to a new wall at the museum.   As you can see from some of the pictures, they not only restored the artwork, but recreated the structure of the church that originally housed them.  The museum’s website has a detailed article on how this was done for one particular piece.

They didn’t allow flash, and I had my 18-200 Nikon lens. It is a great all around lens, but not particularly fast. So these are some high-ISO shots that needed cleaning up in post-processing.

The first is the Apse of Santa Maria de Taüll, which shows the lengths the museum has gone to in order to preserve the original structure.

Nikon D90, 18-200 lens; processed in LR

This is the Apse of Sant Climent de Taüll, which show the detail in the artwork.

Nikon D90, 18-200 lens; processed in LR


These last two are from the Santa Maria in Sigena.


Nikon D90, 18-200 lens; processed in LR

MNAC Art-1

Nikon D90, 18-200 lens; processed in LR

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From → Photography

  1. Beautiful photos of the restored art.


  2. Julie permalink

    It’s reassuring that this artwork was valued enough to be saved when the churches went into dis-use and wonderful to see the results of what must be a painstaking restoration project. You did a nice job with your high-ISO shots.


    • Hi Julie – I still marvel at how they manage to restore it! Thanks for stopping by!


  3. Did you use a wide angle lens? You captured the artwork to great effect.


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