weekly photo challenge: masterpiece

Sunday, July 28:  The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is Masterpiece.

Writes Cheri Lucas: Masterpiece. No matter where you are (and where you’ve been), I’m certain you’ve stumbled upon something extraordinary: a place that blows your mind; a work of art or object that speaks to you; or even a location or scene that’s special, unusual, or even magical in some way.

One thing you can never really “stumble upon” is a ceiling.  Often, you can miss the wonders of ceilings simply by forgetting to look up.  During my travels this summer, I saw some beautiful ceilings in cathedrals and palaces, but in order to see them I had to remember to look up. 🙂

Ceilings are often artistic masterpieces that can be vastly under-appreciated or ignored completely.  A viewer can’t even study ceilings for very long without getting a crick in the neck. And think of what the artist had to endure to create them.  I can only imagine how uncomfortable it would be to design and create a beautiful ceiling by holding one’s arms overhead and one’s face looking up for extended periods of time.  Unless an artist can lie on a platform on his back, I can’t imagine it could be very easy work.

Here are some masterpiece ceilings I found throughout Spain and Portugal this summer.

Cordoba's Mezquita
Cordoba’s Mezquita
Cordoba's Mezquita
Cordoba’s Mezquita
Granada's Cathedral
Granada’s Cathedral
the Alhambra
the Alhambra in Granada, Spain
ceiling and lamp in Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
ceiling and lamp in Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
swans on the ceiling in the National Palace, Sintra, Portugal
swans on the ceiling in the National Palace, Sintra, Portugal
more painted ceilings at the National Palace in Sintra
more painted ceilings at the National Palace in Sintra
Ceilings in the National Palace, Sintra
Ceilings in the National Palace, Sintra
Basilica dos Martires in Lisbon
Basilica dos Martires in Lisbon

And this, my friends, is only a tiny glimpse of heaven. 🙂

46 thoughts on “weekly photo challenge: masterpiece

  1. These are beautiful works of art. I’d love to go back to Spain one day – the Alhambra and a lot of the churches and old mosques/temples of the country are truly amazing to see.

  2. Very cool! It’s true, that’s got to be back breaking work. Beautiful selections Cathy! Thank you for documenting what many of us may not get to see in person.

    1. I was surprised by how beautiful the National Palace was inside, because from the outside it wasn’t much. The Alhambra is absolutely amazing though! My other post about it has many more beautiful pictures than this ceiling, which was hard to capture in a picture. 🙂

  3. We didn’t get to go inside the National Palace when we visited Sintra last year. Looking at your photos I wish we had done – as you say it looks quite shabby from the outside, but those ceilings are amazing! And I don’t remember that lamp of the convolvulus in the Pena Palace either.

    Thanks for posting these wonderful pictures, each and every one a masterpiece.
    Jude xx

    1. Thanks so much, Jude. I kept looking at the outside of the National Palace and thinking that those two big chimneys must be part of a factory! After I kept seeing it from a distance with those ugly chimneys, one of which was gray concrete because the paint had been removed, I almost didn’t bother going in. In the end, I’m glad I went in!

      1. Yes, they really could do with a lick of paint on the outside, they do not look like the photos you see of it where they are a blinding white! We just didn’t have time to go there after Pena, plus it was very humid and crowded. An excuse for another visit though 🙂

  4. Wow beautiful! I have had fun “traveling” from your blogs and pictures! Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  5. I’m getting a crick in my neck, Cathy 🙂
    Loved the ceilings in Sintra’s National Palace too, and that glass light fitting in the Pena Palace is very pretty.

    1. Oh dear, Jo, I knew that would happen! 🙂 That’s what happens when you admire ceiling masterpieces! I liked that glass chandelier in Pena Palace. Sintra was so wonderful overall. Hope you are well! xxx

  6. Lovely shots! I remember going to the Louvre and taking more pics of the ceiling than the works of art on display. As you said… Remember to look up! (And be prepared to be dazzled!)

  7. All perfect candidates for ‘Masterpiece’ Cathy, particularly the Mezquite. Have visited all of the above but have few surviving photos from that trip. Yours are fabulous, every single one of them 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Madhu. I loved the Mezquita most of all the historical sites; I have a whole post on it with TONS more pictures (too many really!) but I was fascinated by it… and bowled over!

    1. I agree; it’s wonderful. If I had to pick my favorite historical place in Spain though, it would be Cordoba’s Mezquita! 🙂 Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

  8. Wow! What stupendous shots of Cathedral ceilings. I wonder though why you did not put up the picture of that incredible cathedral in the making, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona?


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