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Arts & culture

Barcelona, the muse

Written by Paula

Many are the talented artists who use Barcelona as their muse for the creation of beautiful pieces of art. Painting, sculpting, writing and composing are forms of art that frequently use Barcelona as inspiration, celebrating this wonderfully eclectic city, its popular sites and the hidden corners.


barcelonaThere are a variety of songs about this cosmopolitan Spanish city. You may be familiar with George Ezra’s Barcelona, but he wasn’t the first musician to sing about the city. In 1986, legendary Queen front man Freddie Mercury joined the famous Opera singer Montserrat Caballé to create a song for the 1992 Olympic Games. The song’s name? You guessed it: Barcelona. Other artists who recorded songs about Barcelona were French singer Manu Chao (La Rumba de Barcelona),  Dutch band BLØF (Barcelona), Swedish band I’m from Barcelona (We’re from Barcelona and Barcelona loves you), and French singer Yves Simon (A Barcelone).


Literature is another form of art that frequently uses Barcelona for inspiration, using the many of the city’s picturesque locations as the background for the story.

Great examples of that are The shadow of the wind, by Carlos Ruíz Safón, a book about a boy living in a post-war Barcelona; The first wife by Emily Barr, about a woman that comes to the city to unfold a mystery about her husband; Nada, by Carmen Laforet, one of the most important works of fiction ever published in Spain; and The time of doves by Mercè Rodoreda, a books about a young woman living in Barcelona after the civil war.


A city of great beauty, Barcelona was used as the set for a number of national and international movies.

Some of the most famous examples are Perfume: The story of a murdered, by Tom Tykwer, based on the book by Patrick Süskind about a young man with an extraordinary olfactory sense and an obsession;

Todo sobre mi madre, by Pedro Almodóvar about a young man trying to discover the identity of his father;

Brad Anderson’s haunting film The machinist, which features an almost non-existent Christian Bale, playing an industrial worker who begins to doubt his own sanity;

barcelonaL’Auberge Espagnole, a French comedy by Cédric Klapisch about a group of international students in Barcelona,

Paul Morrison’s Little Ashes, narrating the young years of artists Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca;

Biutiful, by Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñarritu, which granted Javier Bardem a nomination for an Academy Award for best actor;

and of course, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a story of love and tempestuous relationships by none other than Woody Allen.

About the author


Paula is an experienced content writer, translator and editor.

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