The National Theater in Costa Rica was recently recognized for the beauty of its most famous painting (Alegoría al Café y Banano) in an article from USA Today.
The National Theater found itself on a list the likes of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City and the Strahov Monastery in Prague among other beautiful ceilings of the world. The National Theater was originally opened to the public in 1897, and the Alegoría al Café y Banano was finished in the same year. It was one of the first buildings to have electricity in Costa Rica as was reported in the USA Today article, and the original brilliance that the theater opened with remains to this day.
The mural which has garnered such a worldwide level of adoration was commissioned from an Italian painter who had never visited Costa Rica, and thereby included a few elements that were inaccurate. Coffee is depicted as being grown at sea level, and the bananas in the painting are upside down. Despite the mistakes made by Aleardo Villa so long ago, the painting still carries a beautiful elegance which is remarkable among resident and foreigner alike.
The Alegoría al Café y Banano was, for a time, the artwork used to decorate the ¢5 bill until it went out of circulation. The bill is still on display at the nearby Numismatic Museum under the Plaza de la Cultura adjacent to the theater. The National Theater was one of the first buildings in Costa Rica to receive electric lighting, and it opened with a production of Faust.
Among other artwork displayed at the National Theater there is the foyer which displays many different period piece furniture sets, sculptures such as Los Héroes de la Miseria and many other paintings and murals throughout the multiple rooms of the museum. The museum takes a great honor by being placed on list the likes of the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, but the beauty of the edifice in San Jose’s center is certainly worth the praise.