Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Earlier in the year I attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The conference was good but one of the highlights of the conference for me had nothing to do with wireless technology. The flight I took to Spain ended up in Madrid and given that I was going to get in at 7 AM and was in no rush to get to Barcelona, I decided to spend the morning checking out Madrid.

I had never been to Madrid and have always had a strong desire to get there but it had never happened as other places had called us instead. Back in 1997 when my wife passed the bar we had made it to Barcelona and had plans to go to Madrid but it was hot in Spain and we instead opted to head to Italy and then Germany.

In Madrid there are a number of places that I have always wanted to visit and at the top of the list was the Reina Sofia Museum. The Reina Sofia is home to the National Modern and Contemporary art collections and, of most interest to me, Picasso's Guernica. I have always been fascinated by this painting and it had some particular interest to me based on my Western Civilization class in high school.

In my senior year I took the Western Civilization AP test and the question I answered for my essay was roughly as follows:

Two paintings were shown, Picasso's Guernica and Goya's The 3rd of May 1808. We were then asked to write about the paintings, the artistic movements they represented and the socio-political setting in which the paintings were made. While there might have been easier questions, this one was a no brainer for me as I had studied the military history of Spain both around the time of Napoleon and during the Spanish Civil War and have always been a huge art fan. Needless to say I did well. I bought a small Guernica print and hung it in my room for many years.

Seeing the painting in person was an absolute treat and unfortunately for me my time was short as the entire museum was hosting the Picasso museum of Paris's collection during renovations. I briskly walked through the various rooms and took in the wonderful paintings many of which I had seen in Paris previously. Goya's painting is in the Prado and I had no time to visit but hope to make Madrid the next destination of a European pleasure trip sometime in the coming years.

1 comment:

Bruce Braun said...

I read with great interest your post on Madrid. I visited Madrid in 1988 and was blown away by the beauty and majesty of the city. Visiting the Prado was very special experience, seeing Picasso's renowned work, Guernica, before it was moved to the Museo Reina SofĂ­a. My disappointment was a reaction to the signs of the times. Guernica was protected behind bullet-proof glass with two machine gun toting guards standing watch. How sad that art treasures require such protection.