Museo Frederic Marès

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One of the most outstanding collector’s museums in the entire world is the Museum Frederic Marès. Much of the rich artistic heritage of Barcelona is exemplified by this outstanding museum. Its exhibits are exceedingly important and marvelous representations of the last few millennia, spanning pre-Roman times to 14th century (medieval) Hispanic sculpture, and then up to the early 20th century.

Frederic Marès i Deulovol (1893-1999) was a Catalan sculptor who had an extreme passion for collecting throughout his long life and spent much of his time and most of his fortune assembling collections of all kinds of neat objects.

He donated his collections to the city in 1944 and two years later, the City Hall decided to install a public museum in a building that along with others nearby had housed de Royal Palace of the Counts of Barcelona in the area known as the Gothic Quarter.

The museum displays a mind-boggling collection especially of religious sculpture and imagery. Here one finds one of the biggest repositories of Medieval, Renascence and Baroque sculpture in this region of Western Europe. Everything occupies two entire floors and even his collections of paintings and furniture allow anyone a splendid opportunity to journey through Spain’s charming artistic past.

Marès was also able to build singular collections of toys, pipes, playing cards, ceramics, scales, advertisements, automata, children’s doll, clocks and watches, ironwork and keys, postcards, table silver, walking sticks, and snuff boxes and daguerreotypes. There are thousands upon thousands of items on display in the rooms of his “Collector’s Cabinet”. Some visitors will find the Ladies Room to be quite pleasing therefore quite possibly the most interesting. It portrays the life of a nineteenth century middle class European lady. Here seen and beautifully arranged are hundreds of Victorian fans, bags, gloves, hatpins and combs, clothing, jewelry and pictures. Everything in this location was deemed “for feminine use” only.

All this was complimented by Frederic Marès own sculpture in his Library or Study. A number of Marés works are still frequently seen today as public monuments in cities and towns of the surrounding area.

As a collector, if you ever visit Barcelona or happen to be just a fancier of the artistic beauty of Spanish culture and heritage, go to this museum for it is a collector’s paradise. You will ultimately feel as though you are in “Collector’s Heaven”. The museum has an atmosphere that represents the personal taste of its founder and therefore is also an artist’s museum. The majority of people leaving the museum have the genuine impression that it was “definitely worthy of the visit”. This museum belongs to Barcelona and it belongs to all the people who go there.

Below are three slideshows of images. The first shows some of the most wondrous objects on display there. The second slideshow reveals some of the fine optical objects that can be seen on display. You are invited to enjoy, to savor, and to appreciate all the images.

A. General Slideshow

B. Optical Slideshow

C. Other Optical Objects Slideshow

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