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New Ribalta Painting Discovered in Valencia

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This must be the kind of discovery that anyone who gets into the field of restoration hopes to one day make.

A dusty, dirty old painting in storage at the Church of San Andrés was cleaned up and restored by The Light of the Images, the same group responsible for the marvelous renovations of the Glory of the Baroque. Underneath the grime and neglect, workers realized that they were holding a painting by the 16th century Valencian master Francisco Ribalta.

A crucifix scene now christened “El Calavario”, the painting depicts Christ on the cross with a kneeling Mary Magdalene, the Virgin Mary and a few others surrounding him. The painting has been dated to 1620, eight years before the artist’s death, when he was already respected and firmly entrenched in Valencia. Ribalta was of the Baroque era, and one of the first Spanish practitioners of Carvaggio’s tenebrist style.

You can see his newly discovered painting in the church of San Juan de la Cruz, as a part of the Glory of the Baroque exhibition.

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July 17, 2010 at 8:35 am Comments (0)

Among Dinosaurs at the Umbracle

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As everyone knows, there is exactly one way to get children interested in the Natural Sciences: Dinosaurs. The bigger and scarier, the better.

“Hey!”

Oh great, it’s Pipsqueak McGee, the neighborhood geek.

“My less enlightened peers may be impressed by dinosaurs, but my favorite creature of the past is the fascinating trilobite, with is easily fossilized exoskeleton.”

Shut up already, Pipsqueak. Nobody likes a nerd.

Luckily for all the cool kids in Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences is not staging a year-long exhibit entitled “Among Trilobites”. Instead, visitors to l’Umbracle will find themselves Among Dinosaurs until May 29th, 2011. Entrance to Europe’s largest collection of mechanized dinosaurs will cost €6. Nighttime visits are possible until the end of August.


CACSA

From the imposing Stegosaurus to the 27 meter Diplodocus, there are twenty-six robotic dinosaurs on display. Strangely though, no Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Haha, yeah right! Of course there’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex. There’s never been a dinosaur exhibit in the history of the world without one. That’s a fact, you can look it up.

More Information at CAC.es

Prince Felipe Science Museum – Our Visit


July 15, 2010 at 7:51 pm Comment (1)

The Jail of San Vicente Mártir

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After leaving the Baños del Almirante somewhat disappointed, we decided to try our luck at the nearby Carcel de San Vicente Mártir, in the Plaza de la Almoina. And we found it a lot more interesting.

The building is near the cathedral, in one of the historical focal points of the city. Remains of civilizations stretching back to the Romans can be seen in this area, and the crypt contains an intact Visigoth chapel from the 6th Century. This basement is supposedly where San Vicente was held captive prior to being martyred in 304 AD. Although, when I pointed out to the guide that there’s another spot in Valencia that claims to be his jail, he readily admitted that no one really knows “for sure” where the jail was… but it certainly could have been here.

The basement ruins are interesting enough, but the best part of the experience is a very cool audio-visual guide that leads you through Valencia’s early history, from the Visigoths to the Moors, to the arrival of Christianity. It’s available in English and provides a fascinating glimpse into the city’s early days.

We loved this exhibit, and were shocked to be the only visitors at 18:30 on a Saturday evening in May. The entrance is free and well worth your time. You can probably get lucky with an English tour, like we did, but you might want to call ahead to make sure.

Archaeological Crypt of San Vicente Martír
+34 96 394 14 17
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Vicente Mártir Procession

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July 5, 2010 at 4:09 pm Comments (0)

The Tanagras Collection at Bancaja

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One of the world’s most important collections of terracotta figures is currently on display in Valencia’s Bancaja Cultural Center (location).


The Titeux Dancer, c. 375-350 BC

The Tanagras figures take their name from the region of Greece in which they were discovered, in the 1870s. The figures date from the 4th to 1st century BC, and are realistic depictions of the people of the age, right down to their dress.

The collection is normally held in the Louvre, but is on tour in Valencia until July 7th. It’s their first appearance ever in Spain, and more than 200 newly restored pieces are on display for free. A full descripton of the figures and their discovery (in Spanish) can be found at Bancaja.es.

April 14, 2010 at 6:47 am Comments (0)

IVAM – Mean Streets & My Mother’s Suitcase

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The weather hasn’t been the greatest in the Valencian Community recently, so we spent one rainy afternoon at the IVAM — Valencia’s modern art museum — where there’s almost always a new exhibit worth seeing.

Mean Streets (Malas Calles) is a confusing mish-mash; an interdisciplinary examination of how “the streets” have affected and shaped modern culture. That’s what it’s supposed to be about, at any rate. Really, the exhibition is better described as a completely random collection of good music, great films, interesting photography, weird art, and extremely boring video projections. Much of it has a very tenuous connection to “the streets” (Fritz Lang’s Metropolis? Happens underground! In an imaginary future!), but once I stopped trying to “figure out” the reasoning behind the selections, I enjoyed myself.

malas-calles

My Mother’s Suitcase is a sculpture collection by Natividad Navalón, which we liked quite a bit. Using materials like iron, towels, water and light, the artist examines the relationship between a mother and her daughter, in 5 rooms. This is the kind of modern art I can get behind. Moving and accessible without pretension.

My Mother’s suitcase only runs through February 21st, so hurry down. Mean Streets is on until May 9th.

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Official Website

More images from My Mother’s Suitcase:

ivam--valencia
someone-is-watching-you
purse-snooping
rastaman-bed
towle-boat
where-are-you-going
Natividad-Navalon-valencia
Natividad-Navalon

Awesome Hostels in Valencia

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February 17, 2010 at 12:56 pm Comment (1)

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