Our country is a land of creative thinkers and makers.
This city is brilliantly light, and it could be for this reason that such great painters – as Velázquez, Goya, Sorolla, Picasso – were inspired. It was in the past, and continues today, in the twenty-first, to be a city of light and thought.
In Madrid, the cultural, artistic, vanguard, gastronomic and literary life is always alive and moving. Every day is full of surprises! It´s well known as a city that never sleeps. Perhaps, the Madrilenian muses come out at night?
This is the city that I always come back to as it continues to fascinate me each morning. It is here that I discover something new and beautiful every day.
You can discover it too! Start your day off by taking a run through the Retiro Park, and follow it with a breakfast in one of the beautiful cafes located in the Independence Square. You can take in the wonderful aromas of freshly made bread and brewing coffee, while reading the daily newspapers or enjoying the sight of one of the most beautiful city-entrance-gates in Europe – La Puerta de Alcalá.
Now for a stroll through Madrid, I´ll let you in on my five favorite pieces of art, and where you can find them:
The private living quarters of the humanist José Lázaro, founder of the Modern Spain, and his wife, Paula Florido, is a scene that reveals their magnificent collection of almost 13 000 pieces of art. Look for squares that are of reduced dimension, those that were so delicately painted by one the best students of Leonardo da Vinci, and tell me what it provokes in you.
The eager collectors and the artistic preferences of the Thysseen-Bornemisza Barons provide us with a tour through an amazing collection that travels through different artistic time periods, from thirteenth to twentieth century. In 1597, the Caravaggio portrait transforms this sweet rural girl into the ideal of beauty in the seventeen century.
Joaquín Sorolla starts to construct what will be his definitive living head-quarters in the Madrid of 1905. His preference for open air, his search for the momentary and fleeting, his ability to capture the effects of light, his characteristic brushstrokes that are both loose and independent, make him our most internationally famous impressionist painter since the beginning of twentieth century. Discover his work, as well as the painters who inspired him, and those Andalucian and Valencian nooks where the wind, which takes the hats these ladies found in the painting, are felt.
Believe me; it is very difficult to admire only one piece of work in this museum that I am so hopelessly in love with. But if in the history of Spanish painters, there is one maestro of excellence, without a doubt, he would be Valazquez and Las Meninas would be his master piece. Try to stand alone in front of the work, and feel how the scene that expresses a normal day slowly transforms.
The Guernica was painted by Picasso when he met Dora Mar. I like to think that it is love that sharpens ones instinct to hate war, and that maybe this woman gave Picasso the necessary tools to make this anti belligerent piece of work, one of the most famous in the world.
Enjoy, and remember that you are in a city that is full of possibility!