Wednesday, 4 June 2008

The Prado, At Last!

A few days ago, we passed our ten-month anniversary of being in Madrid. And we had lunch with two of MamaDuck's colleagues, one of whom is definitely leaving, and the other one is thinking about it. We were talking about the things we'd all done in Madrid, and the things that we hadn't. One of the things that none of us had done was to visit the Prado.

In case you don't know, the Prado is one of the world's top art galleries. MamaDuck and I had always had it on our list of things to do, but never actually got round to it. We would walk past it on Sundays (when entrance is free to everybody) and be discouraged by the long queues.

As the teaching year winds down, MamaDuck found that she had a long morning free today. And she suggested that we spend it at the Prado. We would have to pay €6 each to get in. That's a bit less than the price of a cinema ticket. So we went for it. The seemingly long queues to buy tickets and to enter the galleries turned out to be clumps of Japanese tourists waiting for their guides; not part of any queue at all. So getting in was actually quite painless.

MamaDuck and I have quite different ways of looking at art; she likes to spend about three centuries looking at every single painting, while I just whizz past each one. She had a plan for this visit; she wanted to focus on Velazquez. So we found the main Velazquez room, and I did it in about five minutes. Not because I don't admire his work - he was a superb painter. But he was hampered by being Court Painter to the ugliest king (and rellies and offspring) who ever lived. I see enough ugliness in real life, and I really don't want my day spoilt by looking at more.

The Prado has a bunch of Rubens, some Van Dycks, some Brueghells, and a ton of stuff by dudes I'd never heard of. It also has a lot of El Grecos, which I did not care for at all. So, we spent an enjoyable couple hours, exclusively on the upper floor. Next time we'll do the ground floor.


Alexander McNabb is amused... said...


I thought ye'd bought a new 4WD when I saw the headline!!


dubaibilly said...

Et tu, Keefieboy!

So I drop by your blog and what do I see - a bloody advert for Etihad airways Dubai to Jo'berg!

I give up!

Anonymous said...

My my my! That "ugly King" i.e.,Philip IV,was my friend, the most important art collector in history!And please try not to politicize or trivialize,who is arguably the greatest artist of all
time:Velasquez(I recommend Johnathan Brown's work on the subject). Viva Madrid!