Just a short, late update from Madrid.
My new camera started to act up back in October during our Singapore fling. Since then my blogs and blog pics have been abysmal – no fun travel pictures to share. But it wasn’t until I was in Madrid last December that I had catastrophic camera failure. As Murphy’s law would have it, that was the trip I’d most wanted to capture on camera. It was a girls outing. I was meeting my future daughter-in-law (from Singapore), her sister (living in Madrid) and her mom (from France) to go shopping for wedding dresses. A once in a lifetime event. So of course my camera died in the middle of taking photos of the bride-to-be in all the dresses.
Before it died completely I managed to get in a few shots at the Prado and the Reina Sophia Museums. After two months in the shop, I have my camera back and some recovered pics.
I was a glutton for museum visits when I moved to Europe. But that was 16 years ago. I must have overdone it because I rarely chose to visit museums anymore. Madrid was the exception. Going to Madrid without visiting the world famous Prado Museum would be like being in Paris and taking a pass on the Louvre, or travelling all the way to Moscow and missing The State Tretyakov Gallery.
Once in the Prado, I hired a personal guide who spirited me through the museum efficiently pointing out all the important exhibits. Though I could only understand 80% of what my guide said (I’m not sure why, but I really struggle with the Spanish accent) I was very very impressed with what I saw. Even the religious paintings were beautiful. Lots of cherubic angels and very few bloody Jesus. And it was very nice to learn something new. British, Belgian and Dutch painters I’m quite familiar with. But I knew virtually nothing about Spain’s old masters.
And then there was Guernica. I had to see it. Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. I’ve heard about this piece forever, it seems. Writers I’ve studied with have referred to this painting as having epically moved them. So off I went in search of the Reina Sofia Museum.
I don’t generally enjoy Picasso. I’ve visited the Picasso Museum in Barcelona emitting grunts and shrugs as I walked through – I think I’m more of a Gaudi gal. The Guernica is massive. Even larger than Rembrandt’s Night Watch in the Rijksmueum, Amsterdam. It was created as an outcry against bombing of the village of Guernica by the Germans and the Italians on 26 April, 1937. A bombing requested by the Spanish Nationalists.
I was impressed by the scope of the canvas but it didn’t have an emotional impact on me. The story of the attack impacted me more.
I’ll let you see for yourself…
Oh… and in case you were wondering about the important stuff…the bride-to-be got a beautiful dress and she looks amazing in it. You’ll have to wait until September for those pictures.