Three days jam-packed with three major art museums. The Prado has been on my bucket list and I expected it to be the highlight of my time in Madrid. Well, it certainly is up there, but I have to say, I was wowed by the others.

The Prado did not allow photographs and the work represented did not go much past the early 1900’s. Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights and Fra Angelico’s Annunciation were two of my favorites. However, Goya ruled the day, both his dark and “happy” paintings and prints.

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sophia was spectacular. The collection was arranged with great care to chronology and theme. There was an amazing collection of Dada and Surrealists work. Their temporary exhibition was a retrospective of Richard Hamilton’s work and a fitting homage to a prolific artist.

Then there was the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, once a private collection and now owned by Spain. The brochure brags about “seven centuries of the history of painting.” The top floor had one of the best groupings of 20th century art I have seen and included one of my favorites, Georgio Morandi.

My brain is still floating with all the work I have seen, so many images from art history class and the many art books I have read over my lifetime. There is nothing like seeing them in person.

The Museo of Artes Decorativo was small, but had a nice selection of Spanish ceramics, majolica of course, and some Chinese porcelain export ware. We spent a lot of time wandering the streets of Madrid and enjoying the architecture of the Belles Arts style. “Over the top” is a good way to describe it!

We took a day trip to Toledo and beside its scenic beauty it was El Greco that ruled the day. The museum in the cathedral’s Sacristy was a gem. The Museo Santa Cruz had an excellent ceramics collection and great examples of ceramics from around Spain.

The people in Spain are very friendly and tolerant of our Spanglish. It is a welcoming and warm country and a joy to be here.




Man Ray, yes it is this big


Richard Hamilton installation


Georgio Morandi


Decorative Arts Museum, traditional kitchen


Royal Palace in Madrid


Toledo’s Cathedral


Ceramics in the Museo of Santa Cruz