Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
by Agatha Lagios
Kineta, Attica, Greece
August 14, 2010
November 30, 2009
From journal Madrid in 3 Days
Metro Manila, Philippines
March 27, 2007
From journal Cordoba and Back to Madrid: Part 4, Final Part
by Mandan Lynn
Smithwick, South Dakota
July 22, 2006
From journal Madrid!
London, United Kingdom
September 22, 2005
From journal Hen Weekend in Madrid
by Tre. W.
no where, Louisiana
April 29, 2006
Metro stop: Atocha
This place is AMAZING, if you like contemporary art, surrealism, or modern art, then this is your place. If you are sick of looking at paintings of Jesus and the mother Mary, this is your place. Spend an hour wondering through the bottom floor of temporary installments, then move on to floor 2 and 4 to see the masters of surrealism. Save extra time fro the Bali and Picasso rooms, they are mind blowing!
From journal Backpacker in Madrid
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
October 4, 2010
From journal Madrid and Its Surroundings
Washington, District of Columbia
November 20, 2003
From journal no spain, no gain
May 19, 2005
If you read Spanish, do pick up the free brochure "MNCARS La Coleccion Permanente," as it gives you the room numbers of artists’ works on floors 2a to 4a. There’s a Big Three featured in this museum devoted primarily to Spanish artists, which includes Picasso, Miro, and Dali. The "star attraction" is Picasso’s "Guernica," an enormous oil-on-canvass that the ill-fated Republican government commissioned for the 1937 Universal Exhibition in Paris. Unexpectedly and horrifically, Picasso’s subject matter for that commission stemmed from his angry response to Fascist atrocity. On April 26 of that year, Nazi aircraft simpatico to Franco bombed the Basque town of Guernica, killing and maiming civilians in a bizarre preview of efficiently devastating blitzkriegs to come. Ironically, the muted grey, white, and black memorial of that event depicts no bombs, no guns, and no soldiers. Bullfighting symbols occur, but there are no symbols of war. And lots of gaping mouths abound in this scene of the effects of technological indifference to humanity.
This famous cartoon-like work occupies the center of the Sofia’s second floor. Like the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, "Guernica" draws the most attention from visitors. Since I had seen it years ago, in the ‘50s, when it was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I was more interested in the nearby photo collection by Dora Maar that captured the stages during Picasso’s execution of the work. After Franco’s and Picasso’s death, it still took time until "Guernica" returned in 1981 to a non-Franco Spain as the ardently anti-Franco Picasso had stipulated. Later, when the Sofia opened up in a reconverted hospital, "Guernica" was moved appropriately to this contemporary Spanish museum.
From journal Magnificent Museum Madrid
August 22, 2004
Picasso’s Guernica is by far the most famous painting at the Reina Sofia. Commissioned by the Republican government to create a mural for the Spanish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris World’s Fair, Picasso at first procrastinated, unsure what his subject would be. Then on April 26, 1937 the northern Spanish town of Guernica was bombed by Nazi warplanes in support of nationalist leader General Francisco Franco’s attempt to overthrow the republic. The bombing was one of the first instances of saturation air strikes against non-military targets. Although the exact death toll was never firmly established, an estimated 1,500 people were killed and the town was leveled.
Picasso had his subject and immediately set to work. Initial sketches were produced within 5 days of the incident, and despite the size of the piece (roughly 11.5ft x 25.5ft) he completed the painting by June 4. The stark black, gray and white canvas is rich in symbolism. At the left a woman wails with a dead child in her arms. An exploding light bulb is a possible reference to air warfare. A horse wounded by a spear is said to represent the Spanish people. And there’s much more.
The painting still has an impact today. In early February of 2003, a tapestry reproduction at the entrance of the United Nations Security Council was covered with a blue curtain, as officials deemed it inappropriate for Colin Powell to speak about the prospect of war in Iraq with the 20th century's most iconic protest against it as a backdrop.
Elsewhere there’s a nice example of the cubist style by Juan Gris, Portrait of Rosette (1916). Man With a Pipe (1925) and Portrait (1938) are two of the exceptional Miró pieces in the collection.
Dalí also receives hero status here, and Dalí is where 20th century art tends to escape me. Having been to the Dalí museum in Paris, however, I knew what I was in for. While I can certainly appreciate Dalí’s skill as a painter, his message pretty much escapes me. I mean, when one of his paintings has a grasshopper, a fish hook, ants, and a male torso in underwear (just to name a few), I can’t help but wonder what exactly it is he’s trying to tell me. I left the Dalí room defeated and frustrated trying to understand his work.
Your artistic leanings aside, Guernica alone makes the Reina Sofia worth a visit.
Additional information:Web site: http://museoreinasofia.mcu.es/Metro: Atocha (L1)
Tel: +34 91 467 50 62Fax: +34 91 467 31 63
From journal Madrid From Kilometer Zero