Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Picasso's The Rescue, Reina Sofia
Sunday 7 October: After Salamanca, apart from Madrid's grand Plaza Mayor, I'm completely underwhelmed by the capital's architecture, but there are three great art galleries to see.
The Museo del Prado is all about the old masters of European art and there are lots of them: Breugel, Raphael, Titian, El Greco, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Van Dyke, Rembrant and, of course, Goya, to name but a few. Classical and christian themes in abundance plus a few nudes that add a spicy secular appeal (but no photography allowed, just of the printed catalogue and in the shop).
Monday 8: The Museo Reina Sofia starts in the 1900's with the Avant-garde through Cubism, to Dada and Surrealism. The large jewel in the crown is Pablo Picasso's Guernica which everyone comes to see. An anti-war statement, it depicts the terror of war, particularly for the innocent, telling the story of a Basque village devastated by bombs from German and Italian war planes, at the request of the nationalist forces, during the Spanish civil war. I particularly like the range of works by Picasso, Dali and Juan Gris who, not surprisingly, are all well represented here. Great stuff (and non-flash photography is allowed in most of the galleries). I stay here the whole day, some of Picasso's work is just stunning.
Tuesday 9: Chronologically arranged, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza shows a selection of art from the 13th to the late 20th century. The major periods and pictorial schools of western art such as the Renaissance, Mannerism, the Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism and the art of the 19th and 20th centuries (which is more fully represented in the Reina Sofia) up to Pop Art are all represented here (again, no photos allowed).
I've a quiet room in the friendly family-run Las Murallas right in the heart of the city, in Calle de Fuencarral, just north of Gran Via.
Photos of Madrid.

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