Madrid, Spain – June 2, 2012
This morning Leslie, Tyler, and I drove to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. It is one of the Trinity of museums in Madrid; including The Prado and the Reina Sofia museums. We departed our home in Pozuelo de Alarcón at about 09:00. We made it to the parking garage at about 09:30. In Madrid, that translates into quickly finding a parking spot.
We emerged from the parking garage, which happened to be right beside the museum and began our hunt for a place to have coffee. We found a place called DOCC Prado. The initials stand for Denominacióon de Origen y Calidad Contrastada. Loosely translated, that means Denomination of Origin and Contrast Quality, located at Calle Prado, 28 at Plaza de las Cortes.
After our coffee, we walked a couple of blocks to the museum entrance. In so doing, we passed by the Groupama Seguros building and the Westin Palace Hotel. Both buildings had some very striking architectural details. The Groupama Seguros building had a large clock to which we returned later.
The Groupama Seguros building and the Westin Palace Hotel on the left.
At the museum, it cost €24 (US$29) to get the three of us entry. I was impressed with the art collection. Virtually every item in the museum is from the private Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. There was an extensive number of works covering many centuries. The oldest painting I saw was from 1310. The most recent one I saw dated from 1925. There is more detail on the paintings in the list of hotlinks below. I had to resort to a list because the museum does not allow photography. Regardless, the museum is a must-see in Madrid.
The following list includes my favorite paintings and works. If one wishes to see any of the work, click on the hotlink (courtesy of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum). Just before entering the exhibit spaces, there were four marble sculptures by Auguste Rodin. My two favorites were:
From there, we entered the exhibition spaces and saw the following, among others:
- Greenwood Lake by Jasper Francis Cropsey (1870). I particularly liked the colors in this painting.
- Apache Fire Signal by Frederic Remington (1908)
- Saint-Honore Street in the Afternoon Effect of Rain by Camille Pissarro (1897). It is a definite favorite of mine. I love the impressionist style of this painting. To me, it says, “Paris.” It reminds me of our time in Paris.
- The Thaw at Vétheuil by Claude Monet (1881)
- The Stevedores in Arles by Vincent van Gogh (1888)
- The Woods at Marly by Camille Pissarro (1871)
- Woman in Riding Habit, Fullface (L’Amazone) by Édouard Manet (1882)
- Bottle, Carafe, Jug and Lemons by Paul Cezanne (1902-06)
- Gaston Bonnefoy by Henri de Toulouse-Latrec (1891)
- Swaying Dancer by Edgar Degas (1877-79). It was a favorite of mine and a definite preference of Leslie.
- Street in Rouen by Paul Gauguin (1884). This painting reminded me of what we saw when we traveled through the south of France.
- Evening by Edvard Munch (1888). It is by the artist that painted the recently sold (US$120,000,000) Scream.
- Head of a Man by Pablo Picasso (1913-14). How could I not like a painting by my favorite Spanish artist?!
- Conversation Under the Olive Trees by Henri Matisse (1921)
- The Harvesters by Pablo Picasso (1907). Once again, my favorite Spanish artist.
- The Jockeys by Henri de Toulouse-Latrec (1882)
- Mata Mua (In Olden Times) by Paul Gauguin (1892)
- The Orchard at Éragny by Camille Pissarro (1896). Both Leslie and I liked this painting.
- The House Among the Roses by Claude Monet (1925). I must confess, I could not see the house!
- Charing Cross Bridge by Claude Monet (1899). It was a definite favorite of Leslie. She saw this in a book before our visit. She wants to try to copy this in one of her watercolor paintings.
- Watermill at Gennep by Vincent van Gogh (1884)
- Figures on the Beach in Trouville by Eugène Boudin (1869)
- The Piegans Preparing to Steal Horses from the Crows by Charles M. Russell (1888)
- Christ with the Cross by El Greco (1602-07). I have come to enjoy El Greco’s works much like I have come o enjoy Picasso’s works. Being in a country where there are so many works from each artist, it is hard not to become fond of them.
- The Annunciation by El Greco (1567-77)
- Christ and the Samaritan Woman by Duccio de Buoninsegna (1310-11)
I recognize this is a lengthy list, but it is a fantastic collection of art. As I wrote above, this museum is a must-see.
Shortly after viewing Christ and the Samaritan Woman, we noticed it was 11:55. We hurried out of the museum and walked toward the Westin Palace Hotel. Just across the street from the hotel is the Groupama Seguros (an insurance company) building. It is known for its clock. When it strikes noon, several characters come out and “dance” during the chiming of the bells.
After watching the clock show, we returned to the museum because we had not been through the gift store. We found a couple of magnets for Leslie’s collection. When we left the store, I saw signs for a restaurant in the museum building. We followed the signs to the fifth floor, the top of the building. We sat on the terrace overlooking the entrance of the museum. Tyler had a Coke while Leslie and I had a vino tinto.
This time, we left the museum and began our walk to the north to the National Library. We wanted to go there to do some genealogy research on one of Leslie’s great-grandfathers. Family lore says he was an ambassador from Spain to Mexico. It was roughly a half-mile walk. When we got to the front of the library, it was about 13:00. Leslie suggested we go in because it might close. I said, “Naw, let’s get some lunch first!”
We walked to a restaurant in the median of Paseo de Recoletos in front of the library. It is the Café el Espejo (The Mirror Café). That happens to be the same restaurant Tyler, and I went to last summer when Leslie was in Colorado.
For lunch, I had the sanwich mixto (grilled ham and cheese). Leslie and Tyler each had muselo de pollo asado con patatas fritas y ensalada (roasted chicken leg with French fries and salad). We also shared a pitcher of Sangria. Quite frankly, the Sangria was not very good. That stated, it was empty when we departed.
The bar and service area of El Espejo.
We finished our lunch and arrived at the front doors of the library at about 13:55, only to find they were closing. Leslie was right! I will try to go to the library over the next week or two, during my lunch hour, to see what I can discover.
A little depressed, we crossed the street, hailed a taxi, and rode back to the parking garage. By about 14:45, we were in our home and ready for our siestas.