Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The most prevalent art style in Andorra is the remnants of Romanesque architecture. There really isn’t a set time frame for when this was popular, but it’s generally attributed as being between the 6th and 12th centuries.  This is the style that preceded the more famous Gothic style. Romanesque style’s main identifying factor would be the rounded arches, as opposed to the pointed arches of the latter Gothic period.  Although this style was incorporated into many types of buildings, it was utilized in churches far more than in castles or other structures. It’s generally less ornate as other styles, keeping a more simplistic façade. 

In other sculptures and painting, such as ornamentation inside the churches, the use of gold is really popular. It was used in different kinds of mediums, as both in jewelry and ornamentation for clothing as well as paint. It's beautiful to look, but really, who doesn’t like gold?

In nearby Catalonia, one of the most famous artists from the region is Salvador Dalí (1904-1989). The artist was instrumental in the surrealist movement. Surrealism is the style of art that implies its name: takes a realistic scene and stretches it almost to fanciful proportions. But it keeps realistic shading and blending, using chiaroscuro to create contrast.   He is most famous for his painting “The Persistence of Memory” – you know, the one where it looks like all the clocks are melted and lying there.  While he studied in Madrid and Paris and met a number of incredible people, from Picasso and Man Ray to Sigmund Freud and Coco Chanel, he ended up spending his final years back in Catalonia.  He dabbled on the edge of Dadaism (in my words, it’s more of less avant guard art, but the Dada movement extended to theatre, music, and literature as well) and was one of many who had influenced the later pop art movement that made famous by Andy Warhol.  This is an example of surrealism; I believe this was one of his final paintings. 

When it comes to literature, there were two main names that came up in connection to Andorra: Michèle Gazier and Ramón Villeró.

Michèle Gazier has a Wikipedia page, but you have to go to the French portal to find it. I did find several websites with biographical information on her. From what I’ve gathered, she taught Spanish, and worked as a translator and editor, but her work seems to be written in French. Although Amazon had several of her books that were under $10, one of which that caught my attention called “Histoires d’une femme sans histoire.” None were available for Kindle, though. You know me, I need instant gratification. But I would buy that book once I improve my French reading skills a little.


I found Ramón Villeró’s Twitter page. As I sifted through the Spanish, it said he writes novels and is a travel writer for Viajes magazine.  He has several travel guides and novels, a few of which are available through Amazon (and even available for Kindle). In fact, his novel “La Isla de Volcán” is FREE for the Kindle. It’s in Spanish, though. (I don’t speak Spanish that well, but I read it much better. AND as I look, it's not free in the US.) 

Up next: Music and Dance

Wikipedia: “Culture of Andorra” “Michèle Gazier [French]” “Salvador Dalí” “Romanesque architecture”
Ramón Villeró:

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