Leave the busy streets of New York City and step into Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. The best part is that they are all located in one building, The Hispanic Society Museum and Library. The museum hosts a variety of artists including pieces by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida, Diego Valazquez, and Francisco de Goya.
The Hispanic Society Museum and Library showcase over 1,000 sculptures, 800 paintings, 6,000 watercolors, and drawings. Additionally, 6,000 items portray the life of Hispanic people such as jewelry, ceramics, ironwork and much more. There are also 175,000 photographs of everyday life in the 1850’s. Each collection captures the very essence of those Latin countries that located on the outskirts of the Iberian Peninsula.
As I entered the Hispanic Society Museum and Library, the doorman greeted me and gave me a brochure that highlighted the different sections of the two-floor museum. My self-guided tour leads me to check out the world renowned Sorolla Room.
Wow! I was amazed by the beauty of these wall-size paintings resembling scenes from each of the provinces of Spain that portrays the years 1911-1919. The Sorolla Room features work by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida and his acclaimed masterpiece “Vision of Spain.” Just to give you an idea of how big the room was, it is approximately 50 square feet. I took a while viewing each painting, and they were all very detailed, interesting and equally beautiful! The pictures were so large that it almost covered every inch of the walls. Afterwards, I proceeded to view the sculptures and tombs that were on the Main Court.
This exhibit featured “Spanish Renaissance Art” from the 1500’s-1530 era. The room was filled with tombs belonging to don Gutierre de la Cueva he was the Bishop of Palencia and the Duke of Albuquerque who was don Beltran de la Cueva’s brother. Additionally, there were tombs that were dedicated to women as well.
Particularly, Dona Mencia Enriquez de Toledo who was a part of the royal Castile family. She was also the second wife of don Beltran. Surrounding the tombs were elaborate marble sculptures, which further depicted death, royalty and the power held during that period. When my observations were completed, I headed upstairs to the 2nd floor of the Hispanic Society Museum and Library.
The second floor was architecturally designed to allow visitors to be able to view the Main Court. It resembled a rectangular open-air balcony that made the small museum appear to be a whole lot bigger. It was nice to see each life-sized painting that covered the wall. There were dark wooden benches that were placed sporadically throughout the 2nd floor and a square patterned ceiling that allowed minimal light to peer into the museum. There were paintings from a variety of painters that were hung up on the red walls. Although the work of arts were all different sizes, they were unique and equally beautiful.
Overall, it was fun to stop by and visit this quaint Spanish museum. It was also lovely to become engulfed in the work of artists from Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Visiting the Hispanic Society Museum and Library was well worth the trip!
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