Day 109 - Discovering my new favourite artist
SPAIN | Sunday, 6 May 2007 | Views  | Comments 
Here´s a hot tip for Madrid - all the museums and galleries are free on a Sunday! So on Sunday, I hit the galleries - ready to be overwhelmed with fantastic art in Spain. I visited.....
The Prado Museum:
Without any doubt, this the Prado is one of the world's most important museums since it opened in 1819 (when it became one of the world's first public art galleries). This massive collection is a testament to the centuries of devotion to art accumulation by the Spanish monarchy and church and is full of old style gems that you just don´t see in Australian galleries.
To name just some of the artists represented in the Prado: Brueghel, Van der Weyden, Van Dyck, El Bosco, Durero, Rembrandt, Rubens, Fra Angélico, Mantegna, Botticelli, Bronzino, Rafael, Tiziano, Tintoretto, El Greco, Velazquez, Murillo, Ribera, Goya, ...
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum:
This (once private) fabulous collection of paintings is housed in the Palacio de Villahermosa (19th century) which was completely remodelled by the Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. The collection was started in 1920 by the Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza's father, who upon his death distributed the work among his various heirs. Keen to reunite his father's collection, the last Baron (Hans Heinrich, 1921-2002) bought together most of the works from his relatives and the proceeded to acquire large numbers of new works to produce what is one of the world's finest private art collections. The museum was opened in 1992 after an agreement was reached between the Baron and the Spanish government, originally as a loan. A year later the collection was bought outright and now the gallery is a popular and beautiful place to visit in Madrid.
My favourite pieces here were the Salvador Dali´s - so strange, but you just can´t look away!
The Reina Sofia: My favourite!!!
Once the San Carlos Hospital, the remodelling of this building began in 1981 and in 1986 the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía was inaugurated, becoming the principle location in Madrid for national and international exhibitions. It is home to a variety of art-related activities, such as conferences, courses, poetry recitals and contemporary music concerts (though none of these were happening when I was here!)
In 1990 the collection of modern Spanish art was added to the museum, and this is the stuff that I really love. Not long afterwards a decision was taken to move Picasso's famous Guernica, with its preliminary sketches and drawings as well as a work by Juan Gris into the Reina Sofía, all of which had been previously kept in the Casón del Buen Retiro, a part of the Prado Museum. The areas with Picasso are amazing and I couldnt believe I was actually seeing Picasso!!!!
Amongst the works at Reina Sofia, I discovered an artist called Joan Miro who I totally feel connected with and as I saw more Miro work, I felt more and more inspired and happy!
After a busy day visting all 3 museums, I was so happy to have learnt some new things (particularly about Spanish art) but also about some wonderful artists that I hadn´t heard of, or had the opportunity to see before. I guess thats what travelling is all about!
Miró - I love it!