Chapter 6

The Swimming Pool – There is no piece of artwork by this name at the Guggenheim Bilbao; however, Yves Klein has created numerous pieces of art in the color International Klein Blue.  The title The Swimming Pool is one of a series of references to protagonist’s swimming routine throughout the Robert Langdon series.

International Klein Blue – a deep blue color formulated by French artist Yves Klein and used in a number of his pieces.

Leap Into the Void – a 1960 gelatin silver print by Yves Klein that makes use of two negatives to create an image that appears to be of a man jumping off a building onto the street below.

Leap into the Void









Monotone-Silence Symphony – a symphony conceptualized in the late 1940s by Yves Klein consisting of 20 minutes of an orchestra and chorus playing a D-major chord and 20 subsequent minutes of silence.  The first performance, in 1960, included three nude female dancers who spread International Klein Blue paint all over themselves and then acted as “living brushes,” using their bodies to spread paint on paper onstage during the first half of the symphony; they remained still during the second half of the work.

Davida 17-foot (15.7-meter) marble statue created by Michelangelo from 1501-1504 depicting biblical hero David before his battle with Goliath.  The statue is highly lifelike but has oversized hands and an oversized head.  It can be seen at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.

'David' by Michelangelo Fir JBU002.jpg

Cuneiforma Sumerian-developed system of writing in which a reed is employed to make wedge-shaped marks on clay tablets.  Cuneiform was used from roughly 3000 BCE to 0 CE.

Image result for cuneiform


Pictograma symbol that represents an object through its visual resemblance to that object.  Pictograms have been used since prehistoric times yet are still common today, as can be seen below.


Dingir – This word means “god” in Sumerian.  In modern times, it continues to designate names of gods and is often written as a superscript “D” at the beginning of the god’s name, for example DInanna.

Middle Bronze Age form of the sign





Darwin fish – a modified ichthys symbol (a fish outline that proclaims faith in Jesus and Christianity) that instead represents belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution.


The Matter of Time – This installation by American sculptor Richard Serra has been at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao since 2005.  It consists of eight pieces of steel contorted into various spiral-like shapes.

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time, 2005. Installation of seven sculptures, weatherproof steel, Varying dimensions







“It’s Just a Matter of Time” is a 1958 Brook Benton pop song that reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and again found success in the form of country covers by Sonny James (1970), Glen Campbell (1985), and Randy Travis (1989).

Editor: Maja Cannavo