Situated behind the cathedral in part of the old royal palace of the Counts of Barcelona, this striking collection of Iberian sculpture is not for everyone—although its quiet courtyard and hidden plaza are. Marès (1893–1991) was himself a sculptor, but his greatest legacy is the collection that he amassed that covers sculptural styles from the ancient world to the 19th century. The majority of the works are Gothic polychrome statues from around Spain, with emphasis on Castilla and Catalunya. The galleries begin with serene and all-knowing representations of Maria del Deu (Madonna and Child), but Marès seems to have been taken with particularly vivid depictions, especially of gruesome martyrdoms. Crucifixions run the gamut from the sagging flesh of a resigned Christ to more vigorous images of Christ literally writhing on the cross. Small children can find the imagery disturbing. Upper levels of the museum contain some of Marès’s peculiar personal collections (locks, especially) that may not appeal to many viewers who nonetheless appreciate the sculptures.
Museu Frederic Marès
Plaça de San Iu, 5
Our Rating Hours Mon and Wed–Sat 10am–7pm, Sun 11am–8pm Transportation Metro: Jaume I Phone 93-256-35-00 Prices Admission 4.20€, 2.40€ seniors and students Web site Museu Frederic Marès
MapPlaça de San Iu, 5 Barcelona
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