Art Museums in Madrid – by McQFord aka Connor McKeon ’13 and Katy Stableford ’13

We arrived back in San Francisco, safe and sound, late in the afternoon on Monday. One last adventure to recap — the museums in Madrid.

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Upon arrival in Madrid we spent not a moment sitting down. We dedicated a majority of our first day to exploring the works both classical and modern at the two most famous museums in Spain, The Prada and The Reina Sofia. Our guide Frederico, lead us between the two and was delightfully energetic, using his great sense of humor and knowledge to keep our undivided attention at all times. Naturally, the Prada being the first visited of the two was much more classically themed. Artists included El Greco, Francisco Goya, and Diego Velasquez. As we viewed the pieces chronologically it became clear that as Goya grew older, he became more senile and began to lose his grip on reality. In his later years he had become so involved in his work that he painted everything he saw in his dreams and felt, which gave rise to modern art as we know it. Moving on to the Prada, our group took a first hand look at the paintings of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. One of the main themes displayed was the concept of surrealism which was forged from the rising popularity of the film industry. The first grouping of paintings we viewed was a set of the early works of Salvador Dali that consistently featured his sister. And as we progressed, it was seen that his paintings became more unreal. The last piece we viewed as a group was Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica,” a portrayal of the Spanish government’s defiling of the Basque people in 1937. Francisco Franco had hired German bomber pilots to eliminate the culture in Northern Spain through the murder of their woman and children. Picasso uses four woman being tormented with the eye of God watching from above to expose the cruelty of this attack. It is considered to be the the greatest piece of modern art from the 20th century. It was very coo.

-Connor McKeon ’13 and Katy Stableford ’13

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