A day in a maze:
The Prado really is one of my favourite ports of call when in Madrid, but please tell me which team of village idiots designed the layout. I think that was my third visit and there is no way, even when completely sober, that I can navigate round the place in anything like a logical and planned manner.
I seem to drift from gallery to gallery never quite knowing if I’ve missed some top class masterpiece in some cleverly hidden anti-chamber.
My favourite artist is without doubt Goya especially his country scenes (serie de cartones para la decoración de tapices en los palacios reales) and from these el Paseo de Andalucía or also know as a ‘maja’ and gallants (anybody know why its got two titles?) which for some obscure reason I cant purchase in the shop.
I have previously purchased a canvassed version of el otoño, which sits nicely framed on a wall at home. The work of Goya seems to fit in very timely with happenings in both his private life and the events taking place in the surrounding world. With the black, deep, sullen and thought provoking (Pinturas Negras) reflecting a worsening in his health and the invasion of Spain by Napoleon.
Next comes, of course comes, in my pecking order, Velázquez with the very famous Las Meninas and the religious scenes of El Greco. But for those unfortunate enough not to have visited the Prado be prepared for cultural overload and make a timely retreat to the basement restaurant. On arriving there I met a fellow Englishman who was due to make his way to Sevilla the next day. Also two blokes from Amsterdam who asked me if I had ever visited Amsterdam. Yes I replied. We exchanged stories about Amsterdam. I find more and more that if you can speak English and Spanish you can communicate just about everywhere.