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Museu Frederic Marès

A Mad 'Sentimental Collection' of Art and Bric-a-brac

The Ladies' Hall in the Museum

They've just finished an extensive restoration, all the better to show off the 50,000 items, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, amassed by hoarder extraordinaire Frederic Marés (1893–1991).

Marès was an accomplished sculptor—you'll see some of his monumental works in Plaça de Catalunya—and he spent almost all the money he made on his collections. Here, he concerned himself not only with important works, but also the objects of everyday life—everything that was part of his own personal universe.

The museum occupies the part of the royal palace where King Ferdinand installed his dubious gift to Barcelona—the Spanish Inquisition. It later became the Reial Audiència, or Royal Law Courts, and then a convent. Incredibly, as big as it is, it contains only a fraction of Marès' collections; some of these fill up four smaller museums around Catalonia, while others are on loan around the world.

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Medieval Art and Architecture

Barri Gòtic

Museums & Galleries

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Guillem F-H, Creative Commons Licence