The temperature range for the day: minus one to sixteen degrees C. Ten degrees cooler than Essaouira.
Here's my morning perspective from the cosy breakfast room -
for those of you who read my FB post about my Threshold series (14th September 2016).
First stop - THE PRADO - to see two exhibitions:
Mariano Fortuny (senior)
(the Chinese artist who works with gunpowder)
He trained in Rome on a grant from the Provincial Council of Barcelona.
Went on to North Africa to paint episodes from the Spanish-Moroccan war
(they still don't make good neighbours)
and was inspired by the local peoples and their customs,
an inspiration that reappeared throughout his career.
He had a fascination with the macabre - a few paintings showing near dead prisoners in chains and
a particularly disturbing watercolour titled "Jailer with his Dismembered Prisoner"
that I didn't need to inspect closely - and painted from life obviously.
As you can see, I'm showing the watercolours I prefer.
The painting above - "A Moroccan" - 32 x 20 cm (1869)
Below - "Camels Reposing - Tangiers" - 21 x 37 cm
tonal clarity and exquisite quality of execution.
Fortuny's oils however, were the basis for his fame and highly influential in Spain, Italy and France.
My preference is for his small oil paintings. They sparkle like jewels.
This piece below, I first spotted across a crowded room in the Prado in 2016,
and knew it immediately as Morocco, because of Mariano's skillful depiction of the light.
"Moroccans" - 17 x 25 cm
"The Artist's Children in the Japanese Salon" - 44 x 93 cm (1874)
I have a folding fan depicting the detail of the gold butterflies and cherry blossom, a portion of the red cushion and that gorgeous turquoise background.
(the colour is not so accurate in this reproduction, or the fan's, for that matter).
I liked the added touch of the smoke billowing up from the poster for CAI GUO-QIANG
Here's some of his pure gun powder pieces from the Brisbane Triennial in 2009.
He is the first contemporary artist to work on-site (October 2017 - March 2018)
I personally did not like the work he produced;
mixing pigments with the gun powder before ignition - hence no pictures (sorry).
Below - his plan for blowing up the Spanish royal family and the pigment placement. I love these pieces!
I stocked up on Golden acrylics ready for my next paintings for the Kasbah des Caids gallery in Tamnougalt.
And a visit to La Riva Papeleria - a paper shop that cuts my paper order to luggage size.
and a very special purchase - at last - I have some PFEIL, swiss-made, carving tools.