Saturday, June 13, 2015

Madrid museum crawl

Our window westward
Madrid. Hemingway loved the place, but I can't say it does much for me. Then again, if I lived in the golden haze of alcohol poisoning perhaps I'd see things differently. M. Lee has taken it to the next level and actually made it personal, even when it rains. In any case, it's clear that Madrid rewards those who start their day late. Even the church bells down the alley do not sound until 11 am. But we are here for the art and, so far, we've been to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía once and the Museo Nacional Del Prado twice.

Our window eastward

Our day at Reina Sofia did not start well. The walk there was ok but we needed to find an ATM along the way and, especially in the morning, that is something of a false hope. Maybe it isn't fair to Madrid, but these days Istanbul is the gold standard and in Istanbul ATMs are everywhere, along with public bathrooms. Not so in Madrid. Both are extremely hard to come by. Well, actually it seems there are no public bathrooms in Madrid. You are, as they say, shit out of luck. As for the ATM, we circled the streets for I don't know how long before finding one, of all places, near the museum entrance. Like I said, it's personal.

El Greco, Fábula
Fable by El Greco
Prado
photo by Frans Vandewalle
Of course, both museums house the work of world class artists. If you like, take a quick peak here: The Prado and here: Reina Sofia. One painting in particular stood out at the Prado, El Greco's "Fable".  It is perhaps my personal favorite among all that I have seen this week. Yes, there are more important works at both museums, including the Prado's outstanding collection of royal portraits commissioned by the very kings and princes they portray. They are not only masterfully executed, but are meant to impress upon the viewer the authority and stability of monarchy but to me they seem repetitious and vain. Anyway, of the two museums, I prefer the more contemporary Reina Sofia.

So, today we are off to the archeological museum to see who and what lived here before it was Spain. Must remember to watch out for the pickpockets.

5 comments:

Roy said...

Pickpockets?! Good luck. I would be in a constant state of aggravation.

Tell me you're not going to Naples.

I think I would probably go to the Prado if I could only go to one, but that is because I am so unsophisticated and would feel like to get my money's worth I'd have to see me some old-timey pichers.

asha said...

We're not going to Naples. Is that good or bad?

Well, the Prado delivers. No doubt about it. :)

As for pickpockets, after that horror of Swami disappearing in Cambodia last year, I am VERY careful when I'm out. I lock my bag with several interlocking carabiners and keep my hand on it at all times. And when Swami is with me, he now wears a harness.

Roy said...

Swami is in good hands!

In certain circles Naples supposedly has a bad reputation for crime. However, I don't know that, of course.

asha said...

Swami says hi!

Roy said...

!