I can only imagine that to see most of the great works that are in the Prado you would need – oh I don’t know … a lifetime? The richness of the collection is known throughout the world. Now I love museums but I am the first to admit that after 2 maybe 2 and half hours I am ready to call it a day – when the tableware at the last supper starts looking familiar its time to move on. So the brief time spent there on New Year’s Eve day allowed me to see only a smattering of what was on display from their permanent collection.
I was floored when we first walked into the first gallery – there was a portrait of Mary Tudor by Antonis Mor that I had seen in history books when I was a child. Several rooms along was Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, then many of the great Flemish paintings I have read about and seen reproduced. It was one wonder after another – and not all of them famous or well-known.
I wanted to see at least some of the Goyas and though I missed the two Majas – clothed and unclothed – I did see the two great murals of the 1808 uprisings and the Black Paintings. In this latter group of 14 works there is one of the most disturbing paintings I’ve ever seen – Saturn Devouring his Son – but it also it includes Il perro – the Dog, perhaps one of the most engaging paintings I’ve ever encountered.
There have been many lofty interpretations of what Goya may have been aiming at in portraying this little creature caught in that vast canvas. Giving the deep theological and psychological I feel a little low-brow thinking I’ve seen that look before – as far as I’m concerned that’s the “nobody love’s me or feeds me” look.
Now it just may be my imagination but I am sure that the sitter – not setter – for this – may well have been one of our Nora’s ancestors. She loves to pose for artistic shots and ventures.
19 gennaio – Santi Mario, Marta, Audifce e Abaco