9_View_of_El_Abra,_Bilbao,_from_Algorta by Juan_de_Barroeta

View of El Abra, Bilbao, from AlgortaJuan de Barroeta, 1886

Juan de Barroeta (1835-1906) was born in Bilbao, Spain. His father, a decorative painter, gave him early lessons in art, and he later went on the enrol at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. He twice tried unsuccessfully to win a scholarship to the Spanish Academy in Rome, before returning to Bilbao 1859 where he became a popular and prosperous painter of portraits. His style has a photographic quality, with its crisp detail and careful use of light. This landscape, of the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean, is flooded with jewel-like colour, light and airiness, and filled with interesting details of everyday life.


Juan de Barroeta [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • In what way, if any, did this guided noticing activity add to your original impressions of the painting?
  • What was it like to remove the people from the painting?
  • Did you think the people were central to or incidental to the painting?
  • Did you want to be in the painting with the other people? Why did you feel that way?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art