The Art Scene of Madrid
August 15, 2012
The eyes of the art world have been captivated by Spain since the works of El Greco first captured the depth of human suffering and committed it to canvas. However, the days of Velazquez, Goya and Picasso, the Spanish painters who irrevocably changed the scene of art, are long gone. Today, in order to experience the full breadth of the works of Spanish artists, enthusiasts must visit Madrid.
As the capital of Spain, Madrid cops a more cosmopolitan attitude than other cities in the country. The denizens of Madrid are worldly, cultured and as apt to order aloo gobi as a paella. This fascination with the outside world separates Madrileños from other Spaniards and makes their art scene one of the most fascinating and comprehensive on the planet.
For one stop Spanish art shopping, there is only one museum in Madrid that you have to visit – The Prado. Centrally located along one of the main boulevards of the city, the Prado Museum is often considered the national art museum of Spain. Housing everything from Italian Renaissance to works of the late 19th century, the extensive collection may seem overwhelming to casual fans of art. However, the more than 7,600 pieces in the museum should not be missed. They represent a critical component of understanding life and culture in Spain, in addition to pictorially describing some of history’s most enthralling moments. Take at least a few hours from your itinerary to experience the best of Spanish art at the Prado; you definitely will not regret it.
After visiting the seemlessly unending halls of the ancient Spanish virtuosos, the next step is the Reina Sofia museum, Spain’s 20th century art collection. Housed within a contemporary building that pays homage to Spain’s many masters of modern architecture, the Reina Sofia museum is named for one of the 20th centuries most popular royals. The paintings that reside in El Sofia encompass many of the most famous artists in the world, including Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. Wandering through this museum is almost like being Alice, lost in Wonderland. The richness of imagination and arresting works will fascinate even the most hesitant museum-goer.
As a center of contemporary art, there is only one museum in Madrid that stands out among the crowd – the Matadero Contemporary Art Center. The industrial-style building, that was born as a slaughterhouse, has recently been revived and now holds a school where new art is created every day. Visiting the museum is easy (it is located just a few minutes from downtown) and the employees and artists are more than excited to expose newcomers to their collection. Check the museum’s website for more information regarding new exhibits and performances. Their ever-revolving exhibits are the future of art of Spain and from here, it sure looks bright.
Written by the Marketing Department for Los Angeles car accident lawyer, Paul E. Lee.