Art in Madrid

Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Spain  , Madrid,
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Overthe years, my tastes have changed, and this goes all the way down to art. I kind of blame my employer BT for this as they use to sponsor the Tate galleries and whilst working for them over the last nine years, I have been to see numerous artists, but normally on our weekends away, we don't get to go to galleries, so realising an error in our ways, I booked some tickets to Madrid as I wanted to see what Spain had to offer

Day 1 - GPS Link

Plane, Metro, dump the bags, we hit the streets, and before we saw anything, as we were in Madrid, we started the day, which by this time was lunchtime, with the only thing that a local will eat, a bocadillo calamares. It went down a treat, and lets be realistic, a baguette with calamari is always going to be a winner !!!

Back on the road, we made our way to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, home of the most famous of all Picasso paintings, the Guernica. Upon arrival, we were told that in thirty minutes time, it will be free to enter, and as it was 14:00 and the place was closing at 21:00, half an hour was nothing !!!

We did not pay, we entered

The top was ok, but the real excitement happened on the first floor. We started coming across various Picasso's and Dali's but the best was yet to come. In a room, there it stood, the Guernica. It was massive, and on first appearance, quite plain. There was a darkness around it as it was Picasso painting the bombing raids by the Nazis in 1937. We looked at it from various angles, I left the room, came back, left. looked at a few other paintings and came back. This painting was like a magnet to me, I couldn't leave it alone, I wanted to stay. Over half an hour for one painting !!! I had to move on, so I looked at the rest, and before we left, I went back for one last look, and all I could think, I want to come back and just stare !!!

Dinner was great, and so was the Rioja

Day 2 - GPS Link

After breakfast, we checked out and headed to the premier art museum of Spain, Museo del Prado. We had walked past this a few times and the queues were massive, so I had bought some online. And as this is Spain, at 09:15, there was nobody around, and we were quite amazed that there were people actually working at this time !!! So we entered and hit the floors.

Now the reason for coming here is that this has the most amount of Goyas in one place, so we started walking on a path, trying to keep away from the tour groups who were walking around, and as they were on a mission, they came and went pretty quickly. The Goyas were coming thick and fast, and they were very impressive, but for me on the ground floor, the best were the Hieronymus Bosch. Here was a guy who had painted in the 1500's, and he blew anything Dali did away. Now maybe Dali was on drugs, but this guy was beyond that, it was so out there !!!

And after three hours, we had a coffee break

The next floor had even more Goya's but there were also numerous Velázquez and El Grecos. The masters kept coming, Titian, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Raphael, and Joachim Patiner, Mantegna, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt, Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia Gentileschi, Veronese, Hans Baldung Grien, Fra Angelico, Antonello da Messina, Van der Weyden, Nicolas Poussin, Claude Gellée, Thomas Gainsborough and Thomas Lawrence. The list was endless, and after another three hours, we had finally finished, but before we left, we went back for another Bosch hit, and still felt the same, his works were most probably my favourites. The Garden of Earthly Delights was simply amazing, to hard to describe, you need to see it for yourself.

So we left, had a quick look at an exhibition as it was the 70th anniversary of the evacuation of the art from the Prado to Switzerland due to the Spanish civil war

An early dinner was had, and then it was time to go

And Finally

It was amazing, it was awesome, it was jaw dropping and we loved it, and now I know, I need to return, because the Guernica is calling out for me to be there !!!


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