Category Archives: Art

Basque Fact of the Week: Agustín Ibarrola, Painter of Forests

Not far from Gernika, in the forests of the small village of Kortezubi, resides one of the most unusual art displays one can imagine. The trees are painted with splashes of color and geometrical forms that, individually, have no rhyme or reason, but together, when viewed from the right spot, form figures and shapes that […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Goya’s Basque Connection

Francisco de Goya y Lucientes is one of the most recognized and celebrated painters in the world. A romanticist, he is considered to be one of the greatest portraitists of his time. His paintings often depicted the reality and brutality that surrounded him, a darkness in his style that became particularly prevalent after a sickness […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Cristina Iglesias and Her Newest Creation, Hondalea

Donostia, the capital of Gipuzkoa, is a city filled with a myriad of things to see and do. From the Parte Vieja, where one can wander all night sampling pintxos, to the wonderful beaches, to the history of the San Telmo museum, there is so much to do. And, thanks to Cristina Iglesias, a sculptor […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Caves and Caverns of the Basque Country

We often associate prehistory with caves, with literal cavemen and cavewomen who sought shelter from the elements and predators within the safety of chasms and grottos. The Basque Country, a place where mountains meet the sea, is full of caves, caverns, and subterranean tunnels. These natural shelters have played a huge role in the history, […]

Joanes 4: Traganarroo’s Revenge by Guillermo Zubiaga

Episode IV, Traganarroo’s Revenge: It is a period of civil war. Rebel ships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil British Empire. Joanes, aided by Rebel spies, managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Joanes races home aboard his magic txalupa, […]

Basque Fact of the Week: Tree Carvings of the Sheepherders

People, particularly boys and young men, have an almost uncontrollable impulse to leave their mark on their surroundings. Whether the graffiti that decorates the hearts of large cities or the now-preserved etchings of Spanish conquistadors on the rocks of El Morro, we have to show others we’ve already been there. The same is true of […]

Basque Fact of the Week: The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

At the heart of Bilbao’s transformation from an industrial center to a world-renowned tourist destination sits the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. While today, one cannot think of the city without envisioning the museum, there was significant resistance to the construction at the time. Now, other cities try to reproduce the so-called “Bilbao Effect” or “Guggenheim Effect,” […]

Paisley Lauburuak

The other day, I had an epiphany. Staring at some designs, I realized that the patterns that are in paisleys look like the leafs of lauburus — the traditional Basque “four-headed” symbol that decorates ancient headstones and now is the de facto symbol of the Basques, appearing everywhere. So, I had to play a bit and […]

Online Basque Art and Gifts

Here are a couple of links to online Basque artists, both of which specialize in traditional art. If you are looking for something special for that old friend you’re going to see at Jaialdi, these might be the places to start. Irrintzi specializes in wood, clay and steel, with items that highlight the Guggenheim Museum […]

Rosettas

Throughout the Basque Country, on cabinets, headstones, and books, one finds various designs that adorn pretty much everything. There is of course the ubiquitous lauburu, but there are also other figures, rosettas, that are very common. The Enciclopedia Aunamendi has an article on “popular art” where they have an image of a number of rosettas […]