Lots of tourists take pictures of this nice dragon while walking along Las Ramblas. It is quite a funny thing, that most of them, don’t know why this statue is hanging up there, looking at us. I went to the Caixa Forum exhibition last month and discovered what this little friend is doing up there.
Japanese art is the answer. During the mid of the 19th century, lots of artists in Spain were seduced by Japanise art and they created a movement named “Japonisme”. Everything started in 1868. Paris was the great commercial center of Japanese products. And Barcelona was only 24 hours by train from the French capital.
Catalan artists used to move to Paris for a while during that period and some of them, got some inspiration from the Japanise art that they saw in Paris. Fortuny was the first. Later Rusiñol or even some of Miró, Picasso and Dalí works were inspired by this exotic and refined culture.
Okay, and now, what about the dragon in Las Ramblas?
I saw in the exhibition at Caixa Forum Barcelona that this dragon was located in Las Ramblas, at the “casa dels paraigües” (umbrella’s house) facade. It was part of the decoration of an umbrellas shop located in that building. It was at the time of the inauguration of that store, when the “japonisme” was more active in Barcelona. That’s why, not only the facade, but also the furniture and the decoration of the store were related and inspired on the Japanise art. You’ll find some of the furniture at the Caixa Forum Barcelona exhibition.
What to see in Caixa Forum Barcelona Museum?
Caixa Forum is one of my favorites museums in Barcelona. I like the building and I like the exhibitions. Last time I was there, I visited the exhibition about Méliére and the one related to Japonisme.
[quote align=”right” color=”#999999″]During the mid 19th century, lots of artists in Spain (including Picasso and Dali) were seduced by Japanise art and they created a movement named “Japonisme”[/quote]
The Caixa Forum building is amazing too. It used to be a factory owned by Casimir Factory Casaramona & Puigcercós. They were specialized in the manufacture of blankets and towels, and needed a new building to replace its old factory which burned due to an accident. Casaramona commissioned the project to Josep Puig i Cadafalch, one of the leading architects of Catalan Modernism. And the result of the project was the building where nowadays is located the Caixa Forum Barcelona.
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Caixa Forum Barcelona is not only good for the exhibitions. Walking around the building is quite an amazing thing to do and free entrance. And, maybe the most important thing: it is not a crowded place with a huge queue as other museums like Picasso Museum.[/quote]
[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]If you are visiting Barcelona with your family, enjoy the activities for kids programmed at Caixa Forum.[/quote]
Caixa Forum Barcelona is not only good for the exhibitions. Walking around the building is quite an amazing thing to do and for free. And, maybe the most important thing: it is not a crowded place with a huge queue as other museums like Picasso Museum.
On the other hand, if you travel with your kids, enjoy the activities programmed for them.
And finally, download the program of the movies and activities related to the exhibitions and enjoy an evening there watching a nice movie.
How to get to Caixa Forum Barcelona?
Espanya, lines 1 and 3
CATALAN RAIL WAYS (FGC):
Espanya, lines S3, S33, S4, R5 and R6
BUSES: Lines13 and 50 stop at Av. Ferrer i Guàrdia – Mèxic, outside CaixaForum
If you are driving your own car, park it at the public Carpark B: SM
Entrance from Av. Maria Cristina and Av. Rius i Taulet
Direct access to CaixaForum
Enjoy your trip to Spain! Appreciate your comments, opinions and let me know if you need any help for planning your trip to Spain.