The special—possibly exaggerated—place that western culture has given to art and artists since Michelangelo’s day means that if you love great art, you’re going to spend a lot of time in Florence, Rome and Spain. Yet the most beautiful work of art in Spain, the Alhambra, is a north African work. “The walls and indeed the floors and ceilings are covered in tesselating abstract weaves that do one’s head in,” wrote an admirer of the exquisite Islamic masterpiece.
Wow, I have a lot of travelling to do. I am eyeballs-familiar with most the work of the 20th century artists on the list—Pollock, Rothko, Serra, Johns—if not the specific pieces named. A trip to the Great Salt Lake to see Spiral Jetty is perhaps the only reason I have to visit Gilead—sorry, Utah. I did get to see Guernica before it went to Spain: I had a poster of it in high school. I had never heard of the Grünewald altarpiece until it was discussed as a source for Jasper Johns, so I’d like to see it, but I suspect I’ll be disappointed. One of the venues on the list, the Prado, home of Las Meninas, is near the top of my to-see-sometime list.