Friday, August 26, 2011

Modern vs. Classical

If Madrid is the least fun place in Spain I can't wait to see the rest of it. At the end of day one we are thinking about all the things we don't have time to do while we are here and wishing we could stay longer which I'm taking as a good sign for the country as a whole.

Today we were reminded of the dichotomy of our aesthetic tastes. We love ornate buildings and oil painting and we love glass and clean lines. I wish it was acceptable to hang a Rothko by Van Der Weyden in your living room. Maybe we'll find a way to work it out. Joshua proposed a really traditional house that you walked into and was completely clean and modern on the inside. I just don't think that is being true to either style but maybe that is being true to the Fykes who generally have their own style anyway, right?

Reina Sofia 2

We started the day on accident at the Modern Art Museum which was good but not the best we have seen even on this continent. Then after a squid sandwich and a quick siesta at the park we headed to the Prado which is touted (by Rick Steves) as Europe's best painting museum. A couple of people we had talked to mentioned how huge the place was and we didn't even scratch the surface. We took the see the absolute musts and whatever else you can along the way but do not stress about seeing it all because remember you have an infant and screaming is not fun for anyone.

El Prado

My highlights were seeing "The Adoration of the Shepherds" by El Greco and "Las Meninas" by Valazquez. However, my favorite thing was more a statement of the period and a lesser known piece by David Teniers de joven.

It's a painting of an archduke's paintings and I just think that is hysterical. I mean, where does that hang in his collection of paintings?

Joshua's highlights were "The Descent from the Cross" by Van Der Weyden and being introduced to Goya's black paintings that he did in his house...on the walls...during his depression at the end of his life. Pretty emotional and dark stuff so google that and check it out.

Again our kid is handling everything like a champ. We almost had a morning meltdown at the modern art museum but the other patrons decided to step up and help us keep him calm by talking and playing with him and then he was fine from them on out. He slept through half of the Prado so he must have gotten more of our modern leaning. I think if you ask him though the hour in Retiro Park was the highlight of his day. He even suckered a stranger into giving him stickers.

Retiro Park 3

We head out for a late (usual time for Spain) dinner around 9pm and that will put the first day in the bag.

1 comment:

sam said...

So awesome! I forgot you were going until I saw this post.... The prado sounds amazing. I love the piece you posted of the paintings and also would love to see "descent from the cross" in person.... I still remember writing about that one in freshman art history!

One of these days it would be cool to travel with you guys, I feel like you always do the best stuff!

Hugs from NYC (where a hurricane is heading!)