El Jaleo by John Singer Sargent, 1882
In the Spanish Cloister section of Boston's local Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, you can find the painting above. The painting depicts a traditional flamenco dancer surrounded by guitarists and other dancers. I believe aspects of the painting that make it stand out are the bright colors of the background dancers and the bright shading of the main dancer's skirt. The painting is called Jaleo which is a word to mean the spontaneous clapping and shouting expressed in flamenco performances.
This painting is very important to me because it is a way of capturing and preserving the roots of flamenco. Flamenco experiences a lot of changes and has been modernized over the years, so it is important to remember its roots. Also it shows just how wide spread the culture of flamenco is. I love that the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is such a significant landmark in my community and that it embraces all different cultures, including the culture of flamenco. Some day I hope to visit the museum and see one my favorite paintings.
* another plus for those of you who live in Boston, all kids under the age of eighteen are free along with people who have the name "Isabella". So take a day trip to the Spanish influenced museum and enjoy its variety of paintings and other forms of artwork.