Close your eyes and dream. Can you imagine visiting an area that brings together stunning works by four great figures of 20th-century painting? This place exists. It is the Region of Catalonia, in northeastern Spain, birthplace of Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and Antoni Tàpies and the place where Pablo Ruiz Picasso spent part of his life. There you will find creations that are emblematic in the world of art. A region full of colour awaits you.

Catalonia's landscapes and Mediterranean light have always been an inspiration for artists. This is why this area of Spain is now home to a variety of painting styles to delight visitors. If you come to Catalonia you can explore unusual museums and venues where you can enjoy and begin to understand the unique universe of four real geniuses.

Picasso, master of innovation

Don't wake up just yet. Keep on dreaming... original paintings showing people designed from geometric shapes. This is the essence of Cubism and the work of Picasso. This artist was always closely linked with Catalonia, especially the city of Barcelona, where many of his paintings can be seen to this day, such as the "Maids of Honour" series. Would you like to come and admire them? It's easy. This work and many more await you at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.

Would you like to enjoy the legacy of this special artist even more? Then you should also visit the Montserrat Museum, in Montserrat, which has two paintings by Picasso and a representation of his graphic oeuvre; or the Cau Ferrat Museum, in Sitges, which has two stunning oil paintings by the artist on display.

The Joan Miró Foundation, one of the world's best museums

Discover a new way of looking at reality, through the work of brilliant artist Joan Miró. Bold strokes of colour and brightness will accompany you on your visit to the Foundation that bears his name in the city of Barcelona. Created by the artist himself, it is considered one of the world's best museums on account of its originality and the illumination of works on display. If you decide to come and visit, then more than 11,000 tapestries, drawings, sculptures and paintings such as "Mont-roig, Village and Church" will carry you away on a magnificent journey from Realism to the most avant-garde forms.

The "spirit of Miró" is not limited to the Foundation. If you take a stroll around the streets of Barcelona you will find his works reflected in the Pla de l'Ós mosaic, on La Rambla, or in the ceramic mural at Terminal B of Barcelona airport, for example.

Dalí, dreams on canvass

If you are looking to get away from the conventional, and prefer art to surprise you, then Dalí is the artist for you. There is nowhere better to discover this master of Surrealism than Catalonia. In Figueres (Girona province) you will find the Dalí Theatre-Museum. This building was designed by the artist himself. Its egg-shaped towers are just the start of a truly fantastic journey. Inside, some of his best known pieces, such as "Self Portrait with Fried Bacon" can be found alongside virtual games.

Just 36 kilometres away, in Cadaqués, is Salvador Dalí's House in Port Lligat. This venue is not to be missed if you want to get to know the brilliant artist's intimate world. There, in bucolic surroundings of small white houses, you can discover what his workshop was like. This surrealist dream does not end here, however. At the Gala Dalí Castle House-Museum in Púbol (Girona) you will find the wonders that this artist created for his muse and spouse, Gala. A garden adorned with sculptures of elephants, murals and a swimming pool surrounded by busts of composer Richard Wagner are just a few of the delightful surprises at this romantic "Medieval castle".

Antoni Tàpies, pure, 20th-century Catalonian art

The fourth great artist not to be missed if you want to get to know the most Modernist side of Barcelona is Antoni Tàpies. At his Foundation, one of the city's most emblematic buildings, you will love the personal style on display, which shows an interest in collage and Oriental culture. If you come, then be sure to see the stunning aluminium sculpture, "Cloud and Chair", on the roof of the building.

Furthermore, if you love contemporary art then you are in luck, because the work of this artist is very much present around Barcelona. You can see some of his creations, made using novel materials and techniques, at the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).

Come and discover these four brilliant artists, who made the Region of Catalonia their own unique, surreal landscape. Catalonia is culture. Don't miss it.

If you found this article interesting, get more information at: - Dalí: a genius on the Costa Brava - Antoni Tàpies Foundation: transcendental paintings

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