Mediterranean Art: Where to Explore
Our Mediterranean Art Highlights
© Basil & Elise Goulandris foundation
Founded by Basil and Elise Goulandris, 20th-century Greek shipowners with a passion for art, the Foundation situated in Athens was opened to visitors in 2018 with the vision of bringing Mediterranean art to a broader audience.
The museum itself is an intricate joining of a mid-war building and a modern extension, beautifully reflecting the artistic skill learned over decades turned to contemporary art.
The museum houses its own collection, considered one of the world’s greatest private collections, which focuses on modern and contemporary art from Picasso and
van Gogh to many artists of Greek origin. Despite their many high-society connections, including renowned historians and art professionals, Basil and Elise selected each piece for their collection based on their own aesthetic preferences during their travels resulting in a truly unique muse.
Owing to its central location in the city, the Basil & Elise Goulandris is easily accessible to visitors and just a short 16-minute drive from Flisvos Marina.
In addition to the location in Athens, the Foundation offers the Museum of Contemporary Art in Andros – one of the Cycladic Islands located off the coast of mainland Greece – which hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the season for guided tours. The Museum has a beautiful roof top garden to relax in and enjoy the scenic view and can be reached in just 45 minutes from Port Gavrion.
Rich in history, the palace and gallery of Palazzo Doria Pamohilj is a blend of art accrued from the many Italian noble families that have inhabited it.
Overlooking the courtyard decorated with Renaissance arches is the Doria Pamphilj Gallery lined with masterpieces privately collected by the Doria Pamphilj family. The display has been replicated from the manuscripts of the Doria Pamphilj Historical Archives dated 1767, opening the door to history for those visiting the collection to view as the family would have themselves.
Palazzo has many rooms to explore, each offering a unique slice of history through art. Some of the more renowned pieces include Alessandro Algardi’s bust of Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj, Ribera’s Saint Jerome and a collection of Jan Brughel’s work including The Earthly Paradise and Vision of Saint John.
The Palazzo Doria Pamohilj is a must-visit for experiencing Mediterranean art and is just an hour and a half drive from Porto Turistico di Roma.
© The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj Gallery
© Museu Picasso
Needing little introduction, the Museu Picasso in Barcelona is a wonder for all to visit, especially amongst Mediterranean art enthusiasts. Focused on Pablo Picasso’s formative years, the museum displays a permanent collection of 5,000 pieces.
Picasso arrived in Barcelona with his family in 1904 at just 14 years of age, much of his education was imparted while in the city and his life-long artistic circle of friends was formed. After moving to Paris, Picasso continued to visit Barcelona regularly and his art remained heavily influenced.
In 1919, Picasso donated eight works for an art exhibition held by the Barcelona City Council, which would become part of the foundational collection on display at the Picasso Museu. The museum was created in 1960 in the Ribera neighbourhood in which Picasso had lived.
The museum is an eight-minute drive from Port Vell.
Visitors enter the museum through its very own Garden of Eden, filled with Mediterranean plants including olive trees and green oak trees. Designed by Henri Fisch, the garden is awash with natural cool tones with white and blue flowers reflected in the pool that stretches out beside the museum complete with Changall’s mosaic.
Designed by architect André Hermant, the Chagall Museum was built to encapsulate the spirit of “home”. The understated walls and rigorous forms of the building showcase Marc Changall’s art, creating a peaceful stillness throughout the building. The museum was uniquely constructed in an interlacing three-diamond layout with 12 walls, each to permanently display a single painting.
A 13-minute drive from Port de Nice, the museum offers temporary Mediterranean art exhibitions alongside its permanent collection.
© Chagall Museum
© MUŻA Museum of Fine Arts
Displaying art for the 15th to 21st century, MUŻA is Malta’s National Community Art Museum which focuses on artistic developments specific to Malta. Many influences have come from Mediterranean art as a result of the governance of the Order of St John, the British Empire, the post-independence period and the Church.
Meaning ‘mood’ and ‘inspiration’, MUŻA’s galleries reach beyond the norm and provide a visual journey through the island’s four narratives: Mediterranean, European, Empire and The Artist.
The Mediterranean galleries are aglow with religious and secular paintings, marble, plaster and ivory sculptures disrupted by furniture and silverware. Then to 16-18th century European influences with new styles in Baroque religious paintings and portraits with prominent views of Valletta.
Urban and rural life is depicted through the Empire story, and lithographic works showcasing the early 20th-century developments in colonial Malta.
MUŻA is accessible from Marina Di Valletta in just seven minutes by car.
Hosting a rich collection of 5,200 works of art spanning from the 14th century to the present day, Split’s Museum of Fine Arts is a sure favourite for those wishing to observe Mediterranean art.
The museum is home to many collections: the Old Masters Collection displays works from 14th-century Venetian painters and 17-18th-century Italian painters. The Icons collection is amongst the richest iconographic collection in Croatia including works from Madonnari. The Modern Art Collection and 19th Century Artworks include seminal works from Croatian artists including Vlaho Bukovac and Mato Celestin Medović. The Contemporary Art Collection is filled with recent pieces and the Poster Collection includes theatre posters that document cultural events. The Photography, Film and Video Collection includes examples from as early as the 1930s and represents the way of life on the island.
Moor at ACI Marina Split, just 14 minutes by car, to enjoy the wonders of Croatia’s Museum of Fine Art.
© Museum of Fine Art – Spilt, Croatia