Oceans. From Renoir to microplastics. With works of Mandy Barker

Coinciding with the preparations for the start of the America’s Cup, art and science come together in this exhibition to draw attention to one of the most serious global environmental problems: the pollution of the seas and oceans caused by plastic waste.

The starting point for reflection in this exhibition is Auguste Renoir’s oil painting, The Beach at Pornic (1892), in which the artist conveys an idyllic vision of the beaches, as yet unpolluted by plastic. Renoir’s arcadian gaze is shown alongside a selection of works from the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Santiago Rusiñol, Joaquín Torres García, Hermen Anglada Camarasa, Lluís Masriera, Alexandre de Cabanyes and Enrique Serra. These works offer a striking contrast with Mandy Barker’s photographs, in which the beauty of her creations alerts us to the major current problem of the pollution of the seas and oceans caused by plastic waste.

The beauty of the images created by the British photographer Mandy Barker on these environmental problems have led her to exhibit at the MoMA (2021), the United Nations headquarters in New York, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, the Museum of Civilisations of Europe and the Mediterranean in Marseille (2021) and the Busan International Photography Festival (2020), among other places. She has received international awards for the results of her work, such as the International Understanding Through Photography Award 2023, awarded by The Photographic Society of America. Mandy Barker’s artistic ability to make an impact on the viewer is combined with the scientific rigour with which she undertakes each of the photographic creations she produces, sometimes after joining scientific expeditions to seas and oceans around the world. In 2012, following the Pacific Ocean tsunami, she joined a scientific research expedition from Japan to Hawaii to assess the accumulation of plastic debris. In 2017 Greenpeace invited her to join the ‘Beluga II’ Expedition to recover plastic waste from the remote Inner Hebrides Islands in Scotland, and in 2019 she took part in the ‘Henderson Island Plastic Pollution Expedition’. Her beautifully charged images bring new meaning to marine plastic waste with the aim of promoting profound change regarding the global plastic cycle, including its production, use and disposal, and to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the world’s seas and oceans, highlighting the serious impact on marine ecosystems and humans.

Mandy Barker’s artwork has been published in some of the most prestigious media in over 50 countries, including National Geographic, TIME, WWF World Wildlife Fund, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Smithsonian, UNESCO, The British Journal of Photography, VOGUE, The New Scientist, and has illustrated relevant academic and scientific research articles on the impact of plastics on our seas.

This exhibition is part of the Cultural Regatta, the program of activities promoted by Barcelona City Council to accompany the celebration of the America’s Sailing Cup in Barcelona.

All the wax that burns. Candles in Barcelona Cathedral in the Middle AgesEl simposio, en definitiva, pretende presentar un estado de la cuestión exhaustivo, así como realizar nuevas aportaciones y estimular la reflexión sobre uno de los períodos más decisivos de nuestra historia. De una historia a veces distorsionada y sesgada. Con frecuencia, los intereses políticos han desviado la deseable objetividad científica que siempre debería regir la investigación histórica, a la vez que proyectan sobre el pasado disputas del presente. Esta forma de proceder puede traducirse en la toma de decisiones difíciles de entender, como la división del obispado de Lleida. Sus consecuencias han desembocado en la ruptura de una unidad territorial fruto del matrimonio entre Ramon Berenguer IV y Peronella, un espacio bisagra entre Aragón y Cataluña.

AHCB, 1340-1343, Llibre del Consell

Based on the latest historical research, the exhibition describes the uses that our ancestors gave to wax candles. The reasons and times for lighting them, the ways they were recycled, the people responsible for transporting and selling them…are explained in this exhibition. Made from a highly prized material – beeswax – candles enjoyed a special significance within the medieval Christian liturgy.

In Excelsis! Lights between Gothic & Enlightenment

Anunciació. Atribuida

The exhibition commemorates the 800 years since the creation of the first living nativity scene by Saint Francis (Assisi 1181 – 1226) on Christmas Eve of 1123. This event, which took place in Greccio, Italy, marked the beginning of the tradition of creating nativity scenes, one of the most widespread and deeply rooted Catholic traditions to this day.

The exhibition, hosted by the Diocesan Museum of Barcelona and the Barcelona Cathedral, revolves around the fruitful representation over the centuries of the Holy Family, as well as the ensemble of characters and events surrounding the birth of the incarnate God. Additionally, a selection of works on Saint Francis reflects the interest that this saint has aroused in artistic creation since medieval times.

The work highlights some of the most important painters of the Renaissance, such as Pedro Berruguete or Gerard de Saint Jean, as well as Baroque artists, including Alonso Cano, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Luca Giordano, Antoni Viladomat, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Vicente Carducho, Francisco Bayeu, and Francisco Herrera the Elder. In sculpture, the exhibition presents for the first time the 14th-century Annunciation, composed of two sculptures conceived to adorn the staircase leading to the pulpit of the choir of the Cathedral, with attribution oscillating between Jordi Joan or Pere Ça Anglada. Also, noteworthy is the large 19th-century sculpture of Christ Child by Ramon Amadeu, which for a long time was located at the main altar of the Cathedral.

The selection of oils, sculptures, and reliefs belongs to the Montserrat Museum, the holdings of the Diocesan Museum, as well as the heritage of the Barcelona Cathedral and the Church of Santa Maria del Pi. It also includes a set of works from private collections such as the Cajasol Foundation and Rivero – Bodegas Tradición Collection. The ensemble is completed with a nativity scene on the ground floor of the Diocesan Museum as a tribute to the extensive nativity scene tradition in Catalonia, in dialogue with the paintings in the apse of Polinyà from 1122, specially illuminated to highlight the Nativity scene, in this Romanesque ensemble from the 12th century, a focal point of this part of the museum.

Dialoghi Paralleli. Sancta Eulalia Nobilis Gemma. Jorge Egea and Luca FreschiEl simposio, en definitiva, pretende presentar un estado de la cuestión exhaustivo, así como realizar nuevas aportaciones y estimular la reflexión sobre uno de los períodos más decisivos de nuestra historia. De una historia a veces distorsionada y sesgada. Con frecuencia, los intereses políticos han desviado la deseable objetividad científica que siempre debería regir la investigación histórica, a la vez que proyectan sobre el pasado disputas del presente. Esta forma de proceder puede traducirse en la toma de decisiones difíciles de entender, como la división del obispado de Lleida. Sus consecuencias han desembocado en la ruptura de una unidad territorial fruto del matrimonio entre Ramon Berenguer IV y Peronella, un espacio bisagra entre Aragón y Cataluña.

Dialoghi Paralleli. Sancta Eulalia Nobilis Gemma

Exhibition dedicated to the co-patroness of Barcelona, Santa Eulàlia. The exhibition features the sculptural works of Jorge Egea and Luca Freschi, two artists who, in their analytical research, examine classical culture, reinterpret it, and offer new and original iconographic solutions—more delicate, symbolic, and spiritual.

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Matisse. Art in Balance

The exhibition brings together eighty-five artworks (lithographs, drawings, pochoir or linocuts, etc.) by one of the most important creators of modern art: Henri Matisse (Le Chateau-Cambrésis 1869 – Nice 1954). The artist’s spirituality, homogeneous in all his works during his mature period, can be appreciated in them.

The artistic period covered by the exhibition, which began around the time of the Second World War and runs until the artist’s last days, is marked by a great spirituality and the joie de vivre which Matisse wishes to reflect; an explosion of joy and peace in his spirit. Special emphasis is placed on one of the most important works of his last artistic period: the Matisse Chapel in Vence, on the Côte d’Azur, a unitary project in which he was involved in the architectural development and its decoration.

The exhibition is completed by a video on this chapel and a series of photographs that belonged to its author Hélène Adant, which were used to illustrate in 1951 The Rosary Chapel of the Dominican Sisters of Vence, Matisse’s book on this piece, about which he himself acknowledges: “For me, this chapel is the culmination of a lifetime of work and the flowering of a great, sincere and difficult effort […]. A part of this human expression […] will remain alive, capable of bringing together the past and the future of the plastic tradition”.

When people help each other. Guilds in BarcelonaEl simposio, en definitiva, pretende presentar un estado de la cuestión exhaustivo, así como realizar nuevas aportaciones y estimular la reflexión sobre uno de los períodos más decisivos de nuestra historia. De una historia a veces distorsionada y sesgada. Con frecuencia, los intereses políticos han desviado la deseable objetividad científica que siempre debería regir la investigación histórica, a la vez que proyectan sobre el pasado disputas del presente. Esta forma de proceder puede traducirse en la toma de decisiones difíciles de entender, como la división del obispado de Lleida. Sus consecuencias han desembocado en la ruptura de una unidad territorial fruto del matrimonio entre Ramon Berenguer IV y Peronella, un espacio bisagra entre Aragón y Cataluña.

Quan la gent s'ajuda

People tend to group together according to tastes, interests and also needs, which can be caused by an infinite number of variables. Some of them are generated by trades. When people help each other is a retrospective look at the importance of the guilds in Barcelona from various point of view, such as devotional, professional, mutual aid… It also evokes the trail they have left in different parts of the city, where we can still see and feel their presence, nowadays very much migrated. This exhibition also aims to use this look at the city’s past as a starting point to understand the present. The twenty-first century society continues to generate inequality and vulnerability, and that is why people continue to organise themselves on the basis of horizontal solidarity and mutual aid.

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Miró. Mystique and avant-garde

Miró. Mística i avantguarda

The exhibition about the artist, made up of 55 works and the audiovisual “Je rêve d’un grand atelier” (I dream of a great workshop), offers a reflection on the importance of asceticism and mysticism in the creative process of Joan Miró through a rich dialogue between his works (oils, gouache, watercolors and lithographs) and some Romanesque works that are part of the collection of the Museu Diocesà.

The artist goes towards his way to transcendence through his readings of sacred texts (he created sculptures with an open Bible) and ascetic and mystical literature, moreover the interest during the historical avant-gardes for the knowledge of another reality through esotericism. In addition to his readings, Miró was decisively influenced by the Romanesque and Gothic iconography of Catalonia.

Some of the works on display are also part of the series of etchings on the work Canticle of the Sun by Saint Francis of Assisi, created by Miró in 1975 under the title “Càntic del Sol”.

Ignatius Experience. The transformative power of a wound

On the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the conversion of Sant Ignatius in Manresa, the Ignatian Year was declared. Therefore, during the course of 2022 many events, conferences and meetings are being held everywhere around the figure of Saint Ignatius, his legacy and what the creation of the Society of Jesus and its evangelizing work has meant in the world.

As part of this year’s celebration, the Museu Diocesà de Barcelona and the Society of Jesus have organized this exhibition. It exhibits several works related to the life of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and the Society, as well as other pieces that enrich it and complete it.

The exhibition is an itinerary along the path made by Saint Ignatius, from when he was wounded in the defence of Pamplona, his convalescence in Loyola and his spiritual and human pilgrimage that took him through Europe, to Paris, where he founded the Society of Jesus. There is also a short tour of the history of the Society and the Jesuits during the last five centuries.

You will need to use your headphones and mobile phone during the visit. You can listen to the audio guide of the exhibition at www.ignatiusexperience.org

Nativity Scenes Exhibition

Pessebre diorama. Adoració dels pastors

On the inaugural day of the Fair of Santa Llúcia we opened the traditional exhibition of Nativity scenes in the museum, located in the refectory of the Casa de l’Almoina, presided over by the Romanesque paintings of Sant Salvador de Polinyà. As always, we have had the participation of the Associació de Pessebristes de Barcelona, with whom we have been collaborating for a long time to promote knowledge of artisanal work and protect the tradition and heritage of cribs. As a novelty, they offer a popular Nativity scene that is perfectly integrated with the Christmas theme of Polinyà’s paintings.