Wednesday, January 21, 2009


so, on monday i decided to go to the Museo del Prado, which is closed on mondays. My énd choice was Temple dem Debod, also closed on mondays. Eventually I settled for a long walk around town and through Parque del Oeste which is a huge park on the west side of the city stretching from the swanky Moncloa barrio (the prime ministers official residence is there i believe, hence men with BIG GUNS) down to Principe Pio (where Im staying). Its a nice park with winding paths and fountains and birdies and a stream. it was deserted on a grey and showery day in january and that suited me fine.

later i met 3 my hosts in a swanky bar near the university called delJardin Secreto,it was nice but the staff wanted us out, the heater thingy melted the handle on my bag, and the drinks go up in price after 10, and because we got there at 9 they told us we had to pay the higher price because wed still be there at 10!

Yesterday (tuesday) i decided to go to Museo del Prado, but changed my mind and headed to Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in the belief that itd have a greater variety of art.

i started with italian primitives, 14th century religious paintings, tryptichs, and my first ever dyptich! there are c.700 paintings in the museum and ill confess to skipping a few, theres only so many adorations you can handle. i made a point of seeing the famous ones that im supposed to recognise and be in awe of. i cant say that titian, tintoretto or caravaggio do much for me.

the museums exhitits are arranged in chronological order, so by the time i was half way through the 1st floor (starting on the 2nd) i got more in to my stride; there was a lot of 19th century american painting by a barrage of people id never heard of, but you can see why people fell in love with the new world. Eventually i got to the impressionist/post-impressionist, fauve, and expressionist exhibits. And eventually the experimental avant-gardes.

Picasso, Monet, Manet, Degas, Dali, Earnst, Rothko, Kandinksy and Lichtenstein.

I particularly enjoyed Monet's 'Waterloo Bridge' , the lichtenshtein. I had a good long look and sit down when i came to the Rothko, no matter how i tried i just couldnt shake The Endless Bummer song out of my head.

I also leqrned thqt i will never understqnd Kandinksy.

Later on I went with 2 of my hosts, nora and matteo to a couple of bars, one specialises in vermouth. on tap. it was incredibly spanish, cigqrette butts on the floor, avess to the toilet was under the bar, and there was a documentary on the tv about anti-bullfight campaingers!


At 12:21 pm , Blogger Peter said...

i've been watching a lot of almodovar films again this past week, most of them have been set in madrid so it has been easy to picture you meandering round the place looking at art.

i also looked up on wikipedia about the western sahara that you told me about, good lukc with that!


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