Fundacio Miro and other Barcelona notes

One major point about this excellent museum: don’t think you can walk up there from the nearest metro station – it’s a long way up. Anyway, it restructured Miro in my mind: this has some magnificent late work with bold lines with the humour of Klee, an extraordinary fabric hanging, and several featuring drips and splatters and other excellent attempts to grapple with the American abstract expressionists. And it’s not just Miro work: there is quite a lot by other people, the highlight of which for me is Alexander Calder’s fountain (more of a cascade and a mobile really) with mercury instead of water.

The Museu Picasso is mostly disappointing, very weak through his peak years, but there are a bunch of lovely late ceramics that really made me smile. Otherwise in Barcelona, leaving aside all the obvious Gaudi highlights which are as wonderful as their reputation, the thing that pleased me most was in the very attractive gothic church (the cathedral is impressive with very pretty cloisters, but not much is different from what you’ll see in a hundred other such places) of Santa Maria del Mar, which has many conventional stained glass windows, then suddenly one abstract one, an extraordinarily lovely piece in blue with white and red, allegedly about Saint Pancras (presumably a saint rather than a train station). I bought a postcard of this, but it doesn’t credit an artist, and I don’t know the techniques used, but they clearly aren’t traditional.