While normally I don’t write blog entries about myself, I feel inclined to share some experiences I’ve had recently that do link to the overall theme of this site. I was in Spain and France for a holiday, which was an experience in itself but there was a few cultural activities that were done that I want to talk about.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
First stop was the Museo Reina Sofía, which is dedicated to 20th Century Spanish art. This meant a lot of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí. Recently I did a few posts about Picasso and the main reason I went to this museum was to see his masterpiece Guernica. I have to admit seeing this in real life was an experience in itself, there is no pictures out there that really do this painting justice and I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of it anyway. It was awe inspiring, I’m not sure if all the Spanish history leading up to this picture made this an experience or if it’s the painting itself. But there are no words to describe this encounter for me.
A bonus was the Surrealist wing of this museum. There is something about surrealism that I love, it’s weird and wonderful. This wing consisted on a lot of Salvador Dalí paintings, which were exciting to see, but it also included a painting by my favourite surrealist Rene Magritte. Magritte has always been my favourite surrealist, his works are so distinctive, recognisable and often very witty. The painting I saw wasn’t one of his more famous pieces but it was still exciting to see. The particular painting was his 1930’s piece Pink Belles, Tattered Skies.
Museo del Prado
The Del Prado is the Spanish National art’s Museum which features a lot of Velázquez, Francisco de Goya, Titian, Rubens and Bosch as well as a huge selection of Romanesque, Gothic and Early Renaissance paintings. I was fortunate enough to see my favourite Titian picture; Sisyphus (1548-1549) but the highlight of this museum and possibly the trip was the two Caravaggio paintings. Most readers will know my love of his work, so it was exciting to finally see some of it. On loan from the Vatican; was The Entombment of Christ (1602–1603) and from Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; David with the Head of Goliath (1607).
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
We were lucky enough to go to the Guggenheim during Aste Nagusia (an annual festival in Basque country) and experienced this museum with live Jazz music playing. The music definitely enhanced the experience. While I’m not sure how I feel about modern art, especially Abstract; it was interesting to see some Pollock and other bizarre pieces.
Musée du Louvre
Probably the most visited and even the largest museum in the world, but it’s interesting to see that most of the people go to see the Mona Lisa or the Venus de Milo. While it’s good to see both, there is so much to see and it would take you days to go through it all. The Louvre has a lot of sculptures and decorative arts to look at as well as paintings by the greats including Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and of course The Death of the Virgin (1606) by Caravaggio. While there was some amazing art at the Louvre, it was so spread out the experience wasn’t as enjoyable as the other museums.
It’s been quite an adventure and later I will tell you more, I just wanted to share with you the great museums and art I saw along the way. There really is nothing like seeing the art in real life, it was a real eye opener.