Beautiful Blanco

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Lavish. Elegant. Beautiful. Those three words aren’t enough to describe the Blanco Renaissance Museum. From the moment you pass beneath the welcome arch at the entrance of the curving driveway to the moment you enter the sacred portals of the museum, you feel you are treading on sacred aesthetic grounds.

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All that is true,  good, and beautiful is canonized here.

After paying the IDR 50,000 entrance fee, you pass through this small arch and you feel beautiful already.
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And you emerge on a spacious garden.
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The highlight of course is the museum set-up like a grand European mansion. An imposing arch frames it. It’s Blanco’s inverted signature that had been doubled. Creative.
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No pictures are allowed inside. As you walk from floor to floor gazing at the beautiful pictures, soft operatic museum surrounds you. The paintings are of mostly female nudes. Like any European artist, he was enamored with it. In both sensual and natural poses, Blanco lovingly painted the female figure, most of which were of his Balinese wife, a famous legong dancer. With a style and technique that seemed to border on impressionism, the images are languid and dreamy. Gorgeous frames, artworks in themselves, made even rhe simplest of paintings look lavish.

Up on the rooftop, graceful golden dancers look over the surrounding lush landscape of rice fields.
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Blanco was a Spaniard born in the Ermita district of Manila in the Philippines then moved and lived in the Campuhan area of Ubud. Looking at his photographs on a wall, he bears a strange resemblance to Salvador Dali with his quirky expression.
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His original thatched cottage has been rebuilt and stands beside the museum.
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His only son, Mario, who himself is a painter, has his works exhibited at a smaller gallery cum studio.

Behind the large resting space was this cute cottage.
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I really enjoyed the museum and its grounds. Beautiful and serene are understatements.
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I wonder where this door leads to?
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If it weren’t for my gamelan lessons I would have stayed there for a few more hours. Have some refreshments at the cafe overlooking the gardens, sit at one of the many luxurious European arm chairs or sofas and just gaze at the artworks, or just do nothing but feel the place.
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