Espai Carme Thyssen

The exhibition

Cities and inhabited places

From June 10th to October 14th 2018

Nature in evolution. From Van Goyen to Pissarro and Sacharoff.

The landscape through the history

By means of about sixty paintings, this exhibition shows the transformation of the landscape and the changes in the relations that society have done in it. It can also be noticed how painting and technical and aesthetic innovations have had an influence on our perception of the environment.

Conceived as pieces to be observed, this selection of landscapes is a fantastic chance to enjoy an incomparable trip from the origin of the genre as an independent topic to our present by works of great European and American painters.

Nature in evolution. From Van Goyen to Pissarro and Sacharoff is a itinerary of four centuries through different sensitivities and sociocultural contexts. They have not only provided a certain way to interpret and show the landscape, but also a link that has been established between them.

The exhibition in detail

Exhibition's tour

  • From the appearance to the consolidation of the landscape paintings

    From the appearance to the consolidation of the landscape paintings

    The Dutch landscape was the inspiration of the landscapes from the 19th century, as well as of the naturalism, the realism and the impressionism. According to this, the exhibition has been organised, beginning with the work of one of the main painters of the Dutch Golden Age landscape paintings.

    Room 1: The appearance of the landscape paintings as an independent theme in the 17th century is one of the main contributions of the Dutch painting to the history of art

    Works by: Van Goyen and Locatelli , among others.

    Room 2: The sea paintings are no longer the representation of the naval battles, but an excuse to paint the sea landscape. The Dutch painting is the first to represent the scenes that will be developed in this type of painting.  The landscape format with big sailing boats is introduced. It’s here where its influence on the Spanish painting from the 19th century can be seen.

    Works by Ramon Martí Alsina or Guillermo Gómez Gil, among others.

    Room 3: The landscape painting offers images that propose strolls in scenes from the 19th century in faraway places. The Europeans are not used to these unknown places like the exotic landscapes of the overseas colonies.

    Works by Ludovic Adolphe Hastrel or Ernst Chastron, among others.

  • Perception and transfiguration of the nature representation

    Perception and transfiguration of the nature representation

    In the American landscape painting from the 19th century, image of the naturalism, painters combined their technical ability with the romantic landscape. Their paintings were visual explorations of the light and of the nature wonders.

    This idyllic world of the American painters can be related to some works of the Catalan painting, which represents a feeling of ideal and sacred world in its canvas.


    Room 4: During naturalism in the 19th century, visitants liked to show their knowledge of botany. They recognised flowers and plants in the paintings and interpreted their symbolical meaning. The palm tree strengthens the identification of the tropical landscapes with the earthly paradise.

    Works by Lluís Rigalt, Frederic Erdwin Church or Martin Johnson Heade, among others.

    Room 5: Impressionism is an innovation in the aesthetic interpretation of the environment, with a look that is analytic, poetic and conscious about the fleetingness of time at the same time. This artistic movement, that is specific in France, where the light plays an important role, has a significant influence in the Catalan landscape painting.

    Works by Josep Amat, Camille Pissarro or Josep Maria Mallol, among others.

    Room 6: The representation of the landscape uses the language of the vanguards. The evolution of the cubist, fauvist, expressionist and oneiric contributions are also employed in the representation of the world that surrounds us.   

    Works by Raoul Dufy, Casimir Martínez Tarrassó or Paul Signac, among others.


  • Sense of belonging to the landscape

    Sense of belonging to the landscape

    The third part is made up of Catalan artists from the 20th century, who used the same theme: sea landscapes. The aim of this room is to emphasise the artistic quality of the Catalan painters who didn’t get involved in the vanguards. They were not well-known because they were not considered moderns and transgressors.

    Room 7: The Catalan landscape painting from the 20th century represents the aesthetic experience of a sublime nature by the landscape. The Catalan coast paintings are a modern image of the surroundings.

    Works by Eliseu Maifrèn, Josep Puigdengolas or Emili Grau Sala, among others.


  • Tribute to Olga Sacharoff

    Tribute to Olga Sacharoff

    Olga Sacharoff, the Russian painter, was an outstanding figure of the cultural vanguards in Barcelona in the 20s. She contributed and shared her knowledge and sensitivity with the Catalan society of the post-war.

    Room 8: Taking a delicate watercolour painting of her natural environment, we want to take part in the Tribute to the Year Sacharoff, which commemorates the 50th century of her death.  Two of her works are on display: La Colla, portrays a group of artists and intellectuals in which she took part. Some of them have some works in the previous room. And La Llotja where she is portrayed with her friend Teresa Fàbregas on the foreground