#ThursdayDoors Julio Romero de Torres Museum #Cordoba, #Spain

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature, hosted by Norm 2.0 allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. 

Would you like to follow me inside the Julio Romero de Torres Museum?

This is the main door to the museum, which was also the house in which the painter lived. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed inside the building.

It’s one of the typical houses found in the Old Town, specifically in the Jewish Quarter. It’s a small museum with six large rooms of exhibits on three floors. There’s an open air patio in the centre with orange trees and ceramic tiles.

Here is Julio Romero de Torres (1874-1930), painting in his patio.

He painted mainly dark haired and olive-skinned women, often with either sorrowful or defiant expressions.

This is one of his most famous paintings ‘La Chiquita Piconera’  ‘The Little Coal Girl’.

This painting is called ‘Alegrías’. It depicts a group of cheerful women dancing a flamenco dance called ‘Alegrias’, which also means happiness.

And here we have the other side of the coin ‘¡Mira qué bonita era!’ or ‘Look how beautiful she was!’

You can take a virtual tour of the museum here, enjoy!



#MondayBlogs Permanent and Transient Art and Literature #Haiku

Folded_020/025 by Fernando M. Romero

Even lines, stable comfort,

ground and release me

into transient bliss.


Interdependence of Permanent and Transient aspects in art and literature

When I travel, I make a point of visiting art galleries and museums and I visit local art galleries regularly.

I love visual arts, and although I’m no expert, and my tastes are very eclectic, I have my preferences regarding what interests and inspires me and what illicits no response.

As a writer, linguist and teacher, I work mainly with words, not images, although I find images inspiring, but only if I can identify a narrative.

A picture must tell me a story or make a statement which is meaningful to me, in order to feel a connection.

This perceived story or message may or may not have been the artists’ intention, and yet once the work of art has left the artists’ hands, it becomes subject to the viewers’ reinterpretations.

Geométrico Trip South at Fundación de Artes Plásticas Rafael Botí, Cordoba, Spain.


I went to an art exhibition yesterday, which I enjoyed. I was also lucky enough to meet and speak briefly to two of the artists. I’d like to share with you my thoughts on permanent and transient aspects in visual arts and literature, which were inspired by the artists and their art.

Fernando M. Romero discussing his works in Cordoba 3rd February, 2018


The theme was ‘Geometrical Trip South’ by four Spanish artists.

I was especially impressed by the work of artist Fernando M. Romero, who was born in Cordoba, studied Fine Art at the University of Granada, and is currently working on his MA at The Royal College of Art, London. UK.

Fernando combines geometric shapes, associated with Cubism and the more abstract Tachisme, a style of painting adopted by some French artists from the 1940s, involving the use of dabs or splotches of colour.

Tachisme was a reaction to Cubism and is characterized by spontaneous brushwork, drips and blobs of paint straight from the tube, and sometimes scribbling reminiscent of calligraphy.

I was impressed by Fernando Romero’s work, and I was intrigued by the combination of a permanent, recognisable background, splattered with ephemeral, abstract, blotches on. over, and around the solid geometric shapes.

I connected with his narrative and perceived a clear message; the coexistence of permanent and ephemeral aspects in our lives and how both are necessary and even complimentary. In fact, one cannot live without the other.

A perfectly designed geometrical world, would be unbearable, and yet a world in which everything were temporary would be stressful. I need to know that although some things are short-lived, others will accompany me for the duration, and hopefully outlive me. Isn’t the artist in search of a tiny piece of eternity?

Grid_001 (Lacock Abbey) 2016 by Fernando M. Romero


I was also attracted to the simplicity and minimalism of the artist’s use of black and white. Less is more, as the work of art expresses the simplicity and the essence of the message: The artist is free to experience and create an ephemeral moment, because it exists within a permanent environment.

Can this concept of permanence and transience also be applied to literature? And if so, what does this mean to me as an author?

I think it is also not only applicable, but present in literature.

It means an author can make use of a permanent and universally acknowledged corpus of linguistic theory and literary history in order to produce a novel, which is a product of his/her transient and ephemeral imagination.

This creation might become part of a literary canon, or it may slip through the cracks and dissolve into a timeless, barrierless universe, as two modes of being, transient and permanent, coexist and interact.

Personally, it means I am fortunate enough to be able to make use of a language that has a solid, albeit flexible linguistic system I use to recreate my own stories, which are built on other well-known novels and characters grounded in our conscious knowledge and memories, as well as our collective unconscious.

My contemporary version of other literary movements, such as Gothic Romance and themes in Victorian novels, is however ‘stained’ and splashed by my transient, sometimes irreverent brush strokes, in my own reinterpretation and rewriting of Neo-Victorian fiction, and I’m not going to apologise for my literary ‘Tachisme’.

You can visit the exhibition in Córdoba until 1st April 2018.

How do you believe literature combines permanent and transient aspects?



#ThursdayDoors The Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain. Part I

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in on the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing it, between Thursday morning and Saturday noon and linking up on Norm’s blog here.

The main door of the outer walls of the Mosque. called La Puerta del Perdón, or the Door of Forgiveness.

There was originally a Visigothic Christian Basilica of Saint Vincent, on this site. Some remains are preserved inside the Mosque.  After the Muslim invasion of Spain, the church was divided into Muslim and Christian halves from 711 – 784, when Abd al-Rahman I, bought it from the Christians, demolished the original church and started building the the Great Mosque of Cordoba.

The Mosque has since undergone numerous extensions until 1236, when the building was repossessed by the Christians and used as a Catholic place of worship. The Christian conversion included the insertion of a Cathedral within the mosque in the 16th century.

More information about the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba here.

A close up of the door knockers.

The Belfry Tower, above the main door, was a Christian addition in the 13th century.

Another view of the belfry Tower of the Mosque-Cathedral taken from a nearby street.

It’s a fascinating place. It’s like looking at hundreds of years of history, offering different and complementing ideas of architecture, art, beauty and religious worship in one building.

The Mosque-Cathedral has many more doors on the outer walls and inside. I’ll be showing you others in the coming Thursdays.


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#CarrotRanch #FlashFiction Challenge ‘Art as History’ @Charli_Mills

This post was written in response to Charlie Mills’ Carrot Ranch Weekly Flash Fiction Prompt 

March 16, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) go down the rabbit hole to a place where art is not allowed. It could be a small story or a dystopian vision. Is there a power struggle over art? Would the general public miss it? Is the end of art a natural evolution? Go where the prompt leads.


An Unfavourable Ancestor

‘Destroy it, Brigs,’ Rochester said, pointing to the portrait.

 ‘But it’s your most glorious ancestor, sir, Damer de Rochester, who died at the Battle of Marston Moor.’

Jane gazed admiringly at the portrait and the man she loved, seeing a likeness. ‘You must be very proud of such a brave ancestor.’

‘Brave but foolish, Jane. The Rochesters have been on the blacklist since the Restoration, thanks to him.’

‘It’s a grand work of art. I beg you to reconsider,’ pleaded Rochester’s administrator.

‘I want no trace of him. The new Queen mustn’t know, and I will have my knighthood.’  


A little bit of English History may be needed to capture this flash in its entirety.

The portrait of Damer de Rochester, who was slain at the Battle of Marston Moor, is mentioned in Jane Eyre, as one of Mr. Rochester’s ancestors.

Marston Moor, in North Yorkshire, is famous for the battle fought on 2nd July, 1644. The Parlamentarians, led by Oliver Cromwell, defeated the Royalists. After this defeat the Royalists left Northern England.

        The Battle of Marston Moor, by J. Barker

It is not known for sure if Rochester’s ancestor was a Royalist or a Parlamentarian, but my guess is that his family were associated with the Parlamentarians, and so when the monarchy was restored in 1660, the family was not awarded a knighthood for their loyalty and service, as would probably have happened if they had been faithful to the monarchy.

Two hundred years later, a member of the landed gentry, such as Rochester, would probably want all reference to his Parlamentarian ancestor destroyed, because the new Queen, the young Victoria, of German origin, might not know enough about English history to continue with the veto on the family. This is why Rochester is so keen to have the portrait destroyed, because he wants no evidence of his family’s lack of allegiance to the monarchy.

Charli’s flash includes the lines, “Your art is my history, Danni.”

Art does indeed record history. It is a historic document, and as such can be subject to manipulation or destruction. Rochester, in my flash, would destroy a work of art because it reminds anyone who sees it that his ancestor fought against the Monarchy. He wants this fact to be forgotten.

My flash is a fictional reinterpretation, based on the painting and the characters in Jane Eyre. I have used it to illustrate the point, that art can be inconvenient for future generations as a permanent record of events.

A world without art that Charli envisages, would be unbearable.

I believe a world without music, dance, literature, fine art, photography, theatre and cinema etc. is impossible, however, a world where past and present art is manipulated or censored is unfortunately possible.

Nevertheless, I’m optimistic, because artists have always found a way to express their true feelings through their art.


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