ARTS AND CULTURE: Fine Art in Madrid

10:27 PM

I was a fine arts student back in university. And while I did encounter the names of Goya, Velasquez, and Picasso in my readings and lectures, for a reason that completely eluded me, I completely forgot that they were Spaniards!  I was so excited to see the works of Gaudi in Barcelona that I almost missed out on the chance to see the masterpieces along Madrid’s golden mile of fine art. I would advice that you wouldn’t too, so carve out the time to set foot inside these three. They are all so near each other, so it’s hardly a trek. 

Lonely Planet put it perfectly when it said that “Madrid has three of the finest art galleries in the world and if ever there was a golden mile of fine art, it has to be the combined charms of the Museo del Prado, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia and the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza.” 

As a former fine arts student who has encountered Goya, Picasso, and Dali in the course of my studies, visiting these museums was a realization of a dream for me. But even if you’re not an artist or an art enthusiast, do yourself a favor and carve out the time to set foot inside these three. Your soul would thank you. 

Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
The first thing to catch your eye is the impressive marriage of modern and old world architecture at the front. Lots and lots of works of 20th century painters like Picasso, Miro, and Dali. And of course, how could you possibly miss Picasso’s Guernica? Take note though that taking photos is prohibited in this room. I took a shot of the room, having completely forgotten to turn off the flash, which got me into a row with the attendant.  I profusely apologize but I could barely understand her rapid Spanish. She set me off and I walked to the Guernica, where I stood meshed into the little crowd infront of it and couldn’t help myself… and quietly cried. 

I immediately knew I was in the right place, thanks to that glass box. 

Museo del Prado
I am not being overly dramatic nor cliché when I say that I got goosebumps when I entered the Prado. Back in college, the only way I could see painting done in a “European” style was to go to the national museum, Metropolitan Museum, and the  a “European” style painting was if I go to the National Museum, Metropolitan Museum , or the Lopez Museum. So just imagine when the halls and halls of the such paintings in front of me. Thank God for Mikel, who patiently showed and explained to me the more important works – that of Las Pinturas Negras of Goya.  And the royal paintings of Velasquez.

Photo grabbed from

Museo Thyssen Bornemisza
The museum has a little bit of everyone – from Caravaggio to Vincent van Gogh to Roy Lichtenstein. And when I say, a little, I mean that sometimes it only has one piece by the artist. But if you’re really not an art student or an art enthusiast, that’s actually better as you wouldn’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of works by one artist. 

photo grabbed from
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