On our last day in Madrid we enjoyed both the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo Sorolla, two very different museums. The Prado, a grand structure and one of the world’s great art museums, contains a collection that includes all the Spanish masters along with other art history gems. Goya, Greco, Velazquez are highlights, most notably Velazquez’s Las Meninas, a painting copied or translated by many other artists throughout history — it’s a stunner, in subject matter, composition, and technical mastery. The other painting I wanted to show Dad was Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, whose surreal imagery seems twenty-first century rather than from the sixteenth century when it was painted.
After the crowds of the Prado, we took the Metro up to where the painter Joachin Sorolla’s house and studio are located. The building is now a museum of the artist’s work. Sorolla was a favorite painter of mine during art school days — his rich, lush brush strokes capture expression and movement so adeptly — every stroke counts. During my visit to Madrid eighteen years ago I’d wanted to see this museum, but it was closed for renovation then. To see it with Dad has been one of the highlights of our Madrid visit. While looking at Sorolla’s art, I thought how much Mom, Arlene, and Ginny would have enjoyed seeing his paintings and sculpture work — their uncle was a well-known portrait artist in Chicago and their dad an architect and builder. Creativity runs in the Charn family, with some of the sisters’ kids (including me) and grandkids involved in art or music. It’s fitting to end our ‘vacation’ time in Spain by looking at artwork.
We finished the day with a trout dinner at La Trucha (The Trout), a restaurant where locals go near our hostel. As I write this post tonight, a Spanish TV news station is featuring a segment on the Camino and Galicia. Tomorrow it’s off to the airport where I’ll post concluding thoughts about these past weeks.