July 4, 2014 – Madrid.
From my journal:
Coffees at the hotel. Went to mall, got a box. Went to P.O., wrapped the box, and sent it.
Reina Sofia was just a block away. “Guernica.”
I put this museum on my itinerary solely to to see this great painting.
Also, some Miros, and photography and propaganda art from the (Spanish) Civil War. Very moving.
Laura not well. We ate, she took the Metro back to the hotel.
I went to the Prado. I made a big mistake. Learning admission was free 6-8, I relaxed and waited for the queue. I didn’t see that it was forming away from me for blocks. So a few mutes before 6, I paid and went in only to realize 2 hours was not enough time take in this remarkable collection of paintings.
- Many masterpieces. Fra Angelico’s “Annunciation,” Dürer’s “Self Portrait,” Tintoretto’s “Christ Washing the Disciples’ Feet,” Goya’s “The Third of May, 1808.” There were others, some I knew and some I did not, that were amazing.
- Bosch, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Holy smokes. Seeing this in person was mind-blowing. Certainly one of the most bizarre and confounding paintings before the Surrealists.
- Bruegel, “The Triumph of Death.” A nightmarish vista of death’s inevitability, indiscrimination, variety and horror. One of the most horrific paintings I’ve seen.
- Many remarkable portraits, for example, Dürer, “Portrait of a Man with Beret and Scroll.“
- Finally, a painting and a painter I did not know.” The Execution of Torrijos and His Companions on the Beach at Málaga,” by Antonio Gisbert. This totally enthralled me – capturing the moment of men, brothers in arms, bravely facing their deaths. Not a false note. At the same time, a few hold hands showing their solidarity, yet each contemplates their end in their own way. One of the most emotionally powerful pictures I have ever seen! Wow, wow, wow.
The painting is 12 ft. 9 in. high, and 19 ft. 8 in. wide.“The Execution of Torrijos and His Companions on the Beach at Málaga,” by Antonio Gisbert.
Took the Metro back and Laura surprised me by meeting me on the street. We shopped, ate in a park, and returned to our room. Her throat is giving her intense pain and she thinks it is the same infection she had a few weeks before we left.