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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Reina Sofia : Room 404

Today we arrive at Reina Sofia’s Room 404 – Two Visions of Spain in the 1950s, for our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula.

In this gallery, we view Spain through the lens of two photographers. Eugene Smith & Brassaï . Presented here are our top three must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. Woman Selling Tomatoes, circa 1950, by Eugene Smith
2. The Seamstress of Ruffled Dresses, circa 1950, by Brassaï 
3. Seville, 1950, by Brassaï 

Image credit for artworks : Reina Sofia

Some fun facts about the Museum :

  • The works in the gallery present two distinct views of Spain in the mid 20th century.
  • Eugene Smith presents a politically charged series of images entitled Spanish Village, that were originally featured in Life magazine in 1951.
  • On the other hand, Brassaï presents a lighter view with his Séville en fête. The series showcases the country through the eyes of the great Surrealists, but equally focuses on aspects that attract international tourists. These photographs were published in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1950.
  • The works in the gallery take the viewer on a journey back to and through the history of Spain. The impact of the World Wars, the Spanish civil war and other socio-political events on the Spanish lifestyle become more apparent when viewed through these intimate works. There is a sense of dialogue and understanding between the viewer and the subject.

A Final Thought :

When you visit this room, an interesting thing to remember is that in the 1950s, photography was still in its nascent stages as a form of high art. Sure, it was considered an important visual medium at the time. But people had only just started viewing is as a form of ‘art’. Think about this as you stand in one of the art best Museums in the world, looking at a room full of photographs!


Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there. 

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