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Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

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Bangkok, Thailand
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Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Hi,

Will be in Madrid mid-March and only have time for one museum (3 hours).

Which one would be the best??

I'm young and I like history but don't have any background in art. This would probably be Art Museum 101 for me. I'm also doing Barcelona, the Vatican and Florence after this too.

(I heard that one can skip the Prado if they go for the Uffizi but, again, some say the Prado is easier to digest)

Thanks

New York City
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1. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

"(I heard that one can skip the Prado if they go for the Uffizi but, again, some say the Prado is easier to digest)"

What? I been to both and is it not like you been to one art museum you been to them all, situation. Each museum is completely different, like night and day because of the artwork they have on display.

Go to the Prado and see some of the top artist and there work. Just ask information where they are located see/study them and then spend the time discovering some artwork that interest you.

Velázquez - Las Meninas

Tintoretto - Christ Washing the Disciples' Feet

(make sure you walk to one side of this long painting to the other and notice what just moved in the painting!)

Hieronymous Bosch - The Garden of Earthly Delights

Francisco de Goya - The Nude Maja

Francisco de Goya - The Third of May

Francisco de Goya - Anything to do with his Black Painting period of his life.

El Greco - Anything of his work as he was ahead of his time.

There are many more but you do not have time to see them.

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

ChachaAce,

If you are young, like History and have some interest in Art, you will have a great time in Madrid! I took my 13yo son there. He is young, likes History but DOESN'T like Art, ha ha.

The Prado museum has an excellent website with much online information. For example, there's a list of What To See based on how much time you can spend - 1 hr, 2 hrs or 3 hrs.

museodelprado.es/en/…

There's also an online gallery where you can see some of the paintings and read up about them. This will make your actual visit much more interesting.

I hope you can pop into the Reina Sofia just to see Picasso's Guernica. From a history and art perspective, this is a very moving and important piece of work.

http://www.pablopicasso.org/guernica.jsp

Malaga, Spain
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3. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

If you had time for only one museum, I would choose the Prado.

London, United...
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4. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

>(I heard that one can skip the Prado if they go for the Uffizi but, again, some say the Prado is easier to digest)<

That is one of the most ridiculous statements I've ever heard. Don't believe it. You can certainly "skip the Prado" if you're not interested in what it contains, but it bears no relation to the Uffizi, whose collection is almost entirely Italian painting. And it is definitely not "easy to digest" the Prado: it's a huge collection, which takes many many visits to appreciate properly.

Let's tell you a little about the collections of the three museums, in case it helps you to decide.

The Prado's great strength is Spanish painting, particularly Velasquez, Goya, and El Greco. You should have a look at the website (Gigi's_mum gave you the link) and see whether that's what you're interested in. The other strength of the collection is Flemish painting, particularly Bosch and Breugel. There is also quite a lot of 16th-century Italian painting: Charles V and Philip ll both liked Titian, so you'll find some of Titian's best work there; also Tintoretto and Veronese. The Prado collection is one of the greatest in the world, and if you like looking at paintings it will be a great Art Museum 101 for you.

The Thyssen is quite different: it covers the entire history of Western art from the 12th to the 20th centuries. It's a very even-handed collection, with paintings that represent most periods and most countries. It would be a more conventional, but also interesting, Art Museum 101 for you.

The Reina Sofia's collection is modern and contemporary art, mainly Spanish, but working on becoming truly international. Picasso's Guernica really does have to be seen, and if you do go, you would find it interesting to look at all the drawings he did in preparation for the painting, and afterwards.

If I were going to be in Madrid for one day I would have to choose the Prado (with a quick look into the Reina Sofia at Guernica). If I were there for two days it would be the Prado and the Thyssen (with a quick look in at Guernica).

hope you've found the answers you've been given helpful, and I hope you'll enjoy your introduction to looking at paintings - for which there are very few better places than Madrid.

Edited: 02 March 2012, 12:10
Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Lady A, that's a lovely summary of the strengths of each museum.

Trying to digest the Prado would give me serious art-burn. :-)

Indiana
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6. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

I agree - those descriptions are wonderful! Thank you - that really helps us with OUR itinerary.

London, United...
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7. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Thank you both - and LOL, Gigis_mum. Artburn. Wow.

Charlottesville...
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8. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Well said, as usual, Alabastaron. Indeed!

London, United...
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9. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Thank you too, Wombat!

Tucson, Arizona
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10. Re: Prado, Thyssen or Reina Sofia

Wow, will be going in two weeks and have already got some great suggestions from others such as Gigis-mum! This was a great description of each one, I will be going to all three of course as I have more time, thanks Alabastron!