Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Eighteenth Century Dream Kitchen

National Museum of Decorative Arts / Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas
02/08/12 – Calle Montalbán, 12

Something truly fabulous resides on the top floor of the National Museum of Decorative Arts. As you make your way through the other rooms and floors, everyday objects of extraordinary beauty—used by commoners, or by Kings—help illustrate the past four centuries of domestic life in Spain.  Here are a few examples from the many on display: The buttery yellows and Mediterranean blues of Talavera tiles…

Whimsical animals painted on household dishes….

Look closely.  The wild boar is peeing on a tree.

Over-the-top rococo mirrors…

Newt and Callista, this one's for you.

Plush stools…

Hand carriages…

Excess giving way to order, in the form of a neo-classical bassinet…

Finally, a feast for the eyes: an entire kitchen from Valencia, circa 1775-1800.  All 1,604 painted tiles were transported from the original palace, which was pulled down after the Spanish Civil War.  During the eighteenth century it was fashionable to cover every inch of the kitchen walls with trompe l’oeil decorations.  In this lofty kitchen, servants and lords mingle, while hungry cats nibble on whatever they can reach.  

(Tourist has coordinated purple shoes and jacket. Me gustan).

Bad cat.

More bad cats.

Servant with broom appears to be African.

Real items on shelves mix with painted items.

Spilling the chocolate.

Unwitting focus on Spanish docent. I just like this photo.

As an added bonus, the ground floor of the museum has a visually stunning exhibit on Spanish Graphic Design 1939-1975 (Diseño Gráfico Español 1939-1975).  The temporary exhibit runs through 29 April 2012.

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