The Prado Museum celebrates 200 years ... the excuse for a weekend in Madrid?

Published on 04/24/2019

The emblematic Prado National Museum is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. It is considered one of the most important art galleries in the world, including a large collection of Spanish, German, Flemish, Italian and French paintings.

To celebrate its bicentennial, a superb and exceptional temporary exhibition (from April 2 to July 7, 2019) of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), scattered in the various rooms of the museum, is presented. One finds there in particular "the man who walks" (1960), and the collection of "Big women" (1960).

Among the must-see treasures of the museum, you will find:

"Las Meninas" by Diego Velazquez (1656), probably the most famous work of the painter and one of the main attractions of the Prado Museum. In the center of the painting are the Infanta Marguerite, daughter of Philip IV and Marie-Anne of Austria, surrounded by the bridesmaids of the queen (the meninas) María Agustina Sarmiento and Isabel de Velasco.

"The Three Graces" by Pierre Paul Rubens (1636-1639), a painting by the Flemish school that represents the three Graces of Greek mythology, Aglae, Thalia and Euphrosyne, totally naked. The three daughters of Zeus symbolize love, beauty, fertility and sexuality.

The frightening "The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Human Stages" by Hieronymus Bosch (about 1500). Four small circles, representing the "Death of the sinner", the "Last Judgment", the "Hell" and the "Glory", surround a larger circle representing the seven deadly sins: anger, envy, greed , gluttony, laziness, lust and pride. The center of the central circle would represent the eye of God - who watches over us, in which we can see the Christ emerging from his grave. Scary!

The "Clothed Maja / Maja Nue" by Francisco de Goya (1800-1808), as well as the "Black Paintings" (1819-1823). The clothed Maja and her "sister", La Maja nue, are two emblematic works of the Spanish painter. In these portraits, the same female figure is painted, dressed in one, undressed in the other, which unleashed the controversy and, having been considered obscene, were seized by the court of the Inquisition. It was not until 1901 that they were finally exposed to the Prado Museum.

Once in Madrid for this bicentennial, do not forget the Museum of Queen Sofia, just as unavoidable, since it houses the fabulous Guernica by Pablo Picasso (1937), icon of Spanish art of the twentieth century, painted a month after the bombing of the city of Guernica (Basque Country) by the German planes Condor Legion and the Italian Aviazione Legionaria. The museum also presents some interesting works of Salvador Dali, as well as a beautiful collection of Juan Gris.

A beautiful walk in the Retiro Park will take you to the Crystal Palace, in the heart of the park, where are presented works of Charles Ray (1953) throughout the summer, characters inhabiting the space incongruously, silicone moldings white, smooth and perfect, static, classic and de-idealized, subtle and paradoxical at the same time.

And above all, this bicentennial is an opportunity to visit this royal city, the Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace, the cathedral of the Almuneda, the San Miguel market, the district of La Latina or Malasana, a drink on the terrace of Circulo from the Bellas Artes, stroll through the Retiro Park ... An excuse all found to combine culture and pleasure!



Quelle bonne idée! Effectivement, Madrid est une ville royale et superbe. J'ajouterais le Musée Thyssen Bornemisza et le Musée du peinture Sorolla...


What a great idea! I love it. You are just right about going to Madrid for all those reasons, ... Thanks for the tips!

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