Of Art and the ones in Spain

I know there is no point in explaining, but my only excuse for once again being away for so long is that I got side-tracked; with what, is still another post.

So anyway, I promised one last thing to share about my trip to Spain. Aside from the tours, going to Toledo, and El Escorial, JG also took me to the museums around Madrid. One of my favorite things about Europe is their love for art, old and new. I am no expert, but I particularly like to see paintings made by the famous once, by that I mean the artists you hear about and are used as reference for years. Ever since I saw the original Mona Lisa in the Louvre, I realized that just a few years before that I never even thought I would find myself in Paris, much less see a famous artistic icon. So I decided that as long as I could, I would visit as many museums as I can, and continue to enjoy the privilege of being able to see such historical treasures.

Their paintings give us a glimpse of the world during their time through the eyes of these artists. I especially like the portraits because it makes me wonder about the person in the painting, like this painting of Mrs. Joshua Henshaw II, Catherine Hill, by John Singleton Copley at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. I liked it because it seemed to me like a real picture of a lady seemed to be my age but who lived centuries before I did. I wondered about who she was and what she was like, when I look at paintings like that I think about whether see would be someone who I could’ve friends with, judging from how she smiled or her choice of the color of her dress. I tried to find information about who she was but I just keep going back to this painting.


Portrait of Mrs. Joshua Henshaw II, Catherine Hill by John Singleton Copley, 1172 from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Spain.

I have also found that I like Van Gogh’s work in particular; in Madrid I got o see two or his original works, Watermill at Genep and Evening Landscape.


Evening Landscape by Vincent Van Gogh, 1885 also from the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.

I like him because most of his works when you stand very close to it, you just see these simple deep strokes of lines of all sorts of colors, but as you step back you see that it all connects into this beautiful picture. Also as it was pointed out in an episode of Dr. Who, when Vincent was alive he was tormented by his psychological ailments, and yet he was able to produce such beauty. As it was said in the episode it would’ve been easier for him to draw the pain and anguish in his mind, instead he fought that and gave us the opposite. I think that is what makes his works so interesting, and I find that it kind of says something to me – finding the beauty amidst the darkness, and all that…

There was no Van Gogh’s at the Museo Del Prado, the national art museum of Spain, but there were a lot of the more classical forms, as I would call them. The likes made by Goya one of the most celebrated Spanish painters, whom JG liked. I decided that I was not such a big fan of such paintings, but again is impressed that such an artifact is kept to be seen and enjoyed by the coming generations.


La Maja Desnuda by Francisco Goya also known as The Nude Maja, is one of Goya's most famous found at the Museo del Prado. I think this painting comes in two versions.

In search for more Van Gogh, JG and I braved the cold and rain, to get to the Reina Sofia museum, where most of what are called Avant-garde artworks in Madrid can be found. And sure enough nothing can be as Avant-garde as paintings by Picasso. Now these for me were a bit more too extreme, like I said I like how painters are able to capture a picture with their talent but I seem to be not born with the eye to see the message behind the abstract. However even if you are like me who do not have the taste for Picasso, I still recommend that you stop by and see his Guernica. This huge Picasso painting is a mural that stands about 11 feet tall and about 26 feet wide, it only shows gray, black, and white and was Picasso’s entry to an exhibition in France in the 1930’s. The mural is about a bombing in a town in Guernica, to which Picasso wanted to draw some awareness to. Although I have to admit that the message or what the painting symbolizes eludes me, it was really an experience for me to walk in that room and see that. For me, a Picasso is something I can only see in the movies or hear about, that his works can only be found in the living rooms of rich people, and yet there I was standing in front of his biggest works.

Again I am no expert, I have no opinion about strokes, or color, or lighting, or whatever jargons there is in appreciating fine art. I like it because I find it fascinating how a person is able to capture something, whether it be from a scene, a bowl of fruit, or an abstract image from their imagination, and be able to paint it or sculpt it, immortalize it. Nowadays it is easy to create something as we are living in the digital age. Picturesque moments can be caught with a click of a button and even be manipulated in all forms. That’s great too, how math and science, binary codes or whatever have given us that. But a lot can be said about the likes of Da Vinci, Monet, Picasso for being able to do that with nothing but what is today are rudimentary tools like brushes, paint, and a piece of paper/canvass. They did not have such things as DSLR or special apps that instantly make art; all they had was their eye to see beauty and the talent to draw it.

Anyway that was Spain for me its art, history, paella and all.


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