Capri's Blue Grotto, Iceland's Blue Lagoon, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and the Blue Courtyard (cover): whether natural phenomena or manmade jewels, these places—all of similar nomenclature—represent incomparable beauty and mystery, providing respite for the body, the mind, and the soul. Santiago Rusiñol's (1861-1931) oasis lures visitors with its promise of shady retreat from the Mediterranean summer's blazing heat. The cool sapphire hues bathe the patio; emerald green plants shelter the courtyard's paths, which invite savoring a drink and admiring the flowers. From his native Barcelona, Rusiñol traveled to Paris for his art education—like other Catalán painters of his generation, including Ramon Casas, Isidre Nonell, Joaquim Sunyer, and Hermen Anglada Camarasa ( JAMA cover, October 7, 2009). Casas, one of Rusiñol's closest friends, and Rusiñol were both products of prosperous Barcelona textile merchant families; in Paris, the painters lived together in Montmartre before they returned to ramble the narrow, twisting alleyways of the Barri Gotic and frequent its Els Quatre Gats Café. Although Pablo Picasso ( JAMA cover, June 19, 2002) is probably the most well-known habitué of Els Quatre Gats, the watering hole was Casas' creation.
Torpy JM. Blue Courtyard. JAMA. 2011;305(21):2149. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.594