Saturday, June 18, 2011

Perfect Prado

So the Prado might be my favorite museum I've ever visited. Not just because my favorite painting is there. Everything about the Prado is perfect. 

On the way in, we sat and listened to some Spanish guitar and I was curious as to these prints an old man kept slaving away over. They were prints-- just of flamenco dancers and bullfighters-- so I wondered what he was doing to them, as he clearly had an art kit on his table. Then I realized he was stenciling in people's names to the posters. And it was settled: I needed one of those bullfighter ones. 

It's going to look really good in my room, but that's not even why I want it. As I walked up, the man pulled out the flamenco girl, and started talking to me about putting my name on it. I let him know I wanted the bullfighter. And I didn't want my name on it. Oh, no. I wanted my bullfighter from my musical, Aries Brio. So now, I have a poster advertising a bullfight with my fictional character. I probably just can't relay to you how cool that is to me, but I'm just a big old nerd and anything that allows my characters to take a step from my head into the real world is pure gold. 

Inside the museum, I loved the preparatory sketches Goya did for his huge royal portrait. The Riberas scared me. But the main event for me was the Velazquez rooms. Specifically, Las Meninas. I think I stood in front of Las Meninas for about 30 minutes. I just love the way he uses color. I just love. 

Slightly interesting-- The Prado has this tendency to really interpret the art in a way that I haven't seen museums do in a while. What are your thoughts on that? I always go back to Susan Sontag's Against Interpretation and can't help wonder if being told what to think about art or anything else is kind of a Spanish Fascist hangover.

Last thing. The Prado does something so cool I can't stand it. If I had any way of getting the stuff home, I would have done it. The have prints on demand. You scroll through the masterpieces and they print it in any size for you, on a variety of different materials. Matte Finish, Glossy Finish, CANVAS! Really reasonably priced too. I think all museums should be doing this if they're not. Amazing. 

I gots wayyyyy more stories from yesterday, but I'll leave you for now. I need to soak up some more sun and head out of town to check out El Escorial

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