At the National Museum of Catalan Art, Barcelona

One of our favorite museums. And if you can't get there in person, virtually explore the museum with Smarthistory as your guide.

Some background

videos + essays

Link to the MNAC's website

“Throne of Wisdom” sculptures
“Throne of Wisdom” sculptures

These statues of the Virgin and Child often held relics. Designed to be mobile, they starred in parades and plays.

<em>Virgin from Ger</em>
Virgin from Ger

Delicate and brightly colored, this statue from Spain combines elegance with solidity, the human with the divine.

Circle of the Master of Pedret, <em>The Wise and Foolish Virgins</em>
Circle of the Master of Pedret, The Wise and Foolish Virgins

These frescoes covered the thick walls of a Romanesque church. Once isolated in the Pyrenees, they adorn a museum.

Historiated capitals, Church of Sant Miquel, Camarasa
Historiated capitals, Church of Sant Miquel, Camarasa

Romanesque sculptors adorned the tops of columns with bible stories. These scenes are bold, emotional, and direct.