Results 1-10of 26 Reviews
London, United Kingdom
September 22, 2005
It has floors and floors of paintings nearly all depicting something about the Catholic religion. There are lots of portraits of cardinals and men with pointy beards. There are some works by some of the greats here, Goya and his mates, but they aren't really my thing, so I found it rather tedious, and so did the rest of my group, except one. It was a case of us wandering round, all wondering how soon we could leave without looking uncultured. It was a relief when someone piped up and said that they weren't enjoying it, so we left.
We went to sit on the grassy banks opposite and ate ice cream while waiting for our one friend who loves religious paintings, which was much more enjoyable.
From journal Hen Weekend in Madrid
Los Angeles, California
January 10, 2007
From journal Madrid Mayhem and Museums
July 12, 2005
From journal Madrid, Spain - Weekend in June 2005
December 11, 2003
From journal New Year in Madrid
Santa Ynez, California
April 17, 2006
From journal Spring Break in Madrid
March 24, 2005
From journal Madrid, Espana
June 6, 2002
From journal A loop through Spain
September 1, 2004
Besides Spanish art, you’ll also see large collections from the Italian, Flemish, Dutch, and French schools. The German collection is smaller. Italian paintings (1300-1800) cover the gamut from the early Renaissance to the eighteenth century. There are also Greek and Roman sculptures.
The part of the museum that seemingly gets the most attention is Hall 89, where Goya’s two paintings The Clothed Maja and The Nude Maja can be found. Not unexpectedly, these two works caused a big scandal in their day, and were deemed to be obscene by the Inquisition in 1815.
For me personally, the most stunning pieces by a wide margin were Goya’s two documentary masterpieces depicting the uprising against occupying French forces on May 2, 1808 and the subsequent executions of the remaining resisters the following day. Both paintings are located side by side in room 39 of the Villenueva Building, and project a powerful message.
In The 2nd of May, 1808 Goya depicts the brutality of war. Local villagers armed with little more than knives clash with members of the well-armed French Calvary.
In The 3rd of May, 1808: The Executions on Principe Pio Hill Goya’s victim, harshly illuminated by a bright lantern, is dressed in a clean white shirt, and his outstretched arms bear resemblance to the Crucifixion. The physical features of the firing squad are obscured, yet their uniforms are painted in precise detail. The silhouette of the church is the only detail visible in the dimly lit background. Interestingly, although the painting was commissioned by the state, it was held in storage and went unseen by the public for forty years after it was painted.
The grounds outside the Museo Nacional del Prado.
Most of the Prado’s collection is not what I’d consider closely aligned with my own personal tastes. But that’s not to say there’s not a lot to like here: I’m a bit of a sucker for Caravaggio, so I enjoyed seeing David and Goliath, and I can appreciate Botticelli’s The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti (first episode). And after all, spending time in Madrid and not seeing the Prado would be like being in Paris and not going to the Louvre or visiting Florence and skipping the Uffizi.
Metro: Banco de España (L2), Atocha (L1)
From journal Madrid From Kilometer Zero
Cinnaminson, New Jersey
May 3, 2003
The added bonus this time was the exhibit "Vermeer and the Dutch interior," which covers works of Vermeer, Borch, Dou, de Hooch, Maes, Metsu and Steen during the period of 1650-1675. Vermeer is probably the most famous of this group of painters, which is typically skipped by the visitors to most museums, but this particular exhibit has been put together with paintings from all over the world: New York, Washington D.C., Vienna, Amsterdam, Dresden, Paris, St Peterburg (Russia) and many other places -- Spain doesn’t own any of Vermeer’s paintings. The main subjects in all of the paintings are mainly women in their regular life –- sewing, dressing, writing, drawing, playing musical instruments -- and the play of the light and perspective is what draws us to these images. Eight out of 34 works painted by Vermeer in his lifetime are presented in Prado, with his "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher" as the cover painting for the exhibit. The uniqueness of this exhibit is that you can compare the style of several painters side by side and see why Vermeer stands out from the rest of the group.
From journal Travels to Spain - Madrid
On the second floor you encounter what you came here for: the Spanish masters. Large halls with Velazquez’s famous portraits of the little infanta so live that you think she is just waiting to step off from the painting and regal Felipe IV, his portraits of kings and regular people. Alongside in the gallery parallel to the rooms with Velazquez’s paintings are Ribera’s works, full of drama adapted by him from Caravaggio, and Murillo’s Madonnas and saints with this very recognizable Seville school of painting that has been copied from him in a lot of church paintings throughout Spain. Other rooms have the rare works by Zurbaran, Rubens (a huge collection of Rubens’ paintings –- truly remarkable), Van Dyck, Teniers, Rembrandt, Guetchino, Caravaggio, Reni, Tiepolo, Poussin, and all the way on the other side of the floor is what everybody comes to Madrid for -– Goya’s works from all periods of his life: portraits of the royalty on horses and without, the famous Majas for which he was very criticized, sketches for the tapestries in El Pardo, and the dark reaction to the horrors of the Napoleonic wars in many paintings, the most powerful of which are probably "Saturn Devouring One of His Sons" and "The 3rd of May in Madrid" showing execution of Spanish by the French troops.
Continued in Part III