Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Culture: Is The Prado Museum Overrated?

(Drivebycuriosity) - Madrid`s Prado Museum belongs to the most famous museums of the world. It seems every tourist who is visiting Madrid has to see this place. Many visitors of Madrid go just to the Prado and ignore the other museums. I think this is a mistake. The Prado is over-hyped and not Madrid`s best choice of museum.

The Prado lacks the variety you can expect from an outstanding museum. It doesn`t have the diversity you can observe @ New York´s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chicago`s Art Institute, Paris` Louvre, London’s National Gallery or even the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Prado´s neighborhood. The Prado shows just art created before the 20th century and focuses on the medieval art and Renaissance artists, mostly from Spain. The Museum reflects the tastes of Spanish kings who once initiated the place. Therefore medieval Spanish painters dominate the collection, but there is no Picasso and no Dali (you can find them @ the Thyssen-Bornemisza & Madrid´s  Reina Sofia). I saw there of course lots of impressive paintings, like Hieronymus Bosch`s Garden of Early Delights, but  I got tired by the seemingly hundreds of crucifixions, portraits of medieval aristocrats and thousands of saints in ecstasy.

The Prado has another disadvantage: There is a strict photo prohibition. The guards are stopping anyone who tries to take a picture. This does not make any sense and it is unusual. Other famous museums - like New York`s Metropolitan & MoMa -  and Madrid`s Reina Sofia & Thyssen-Bornemisza allow taking pictures.

Fortunately was the "Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Herod`s Banquet" by Bartholomäus Ströbel el Joven (1630/33) not as much guarded as the other jewels so I could take some snapshots. Maybe it is a warning for unduly photographers?

The Prado is certainly worth a visit but so are other museums in Madrid, especially the Reina Sofia & Thyssen-Bornemisza (here my reports sofia  thyssen).  Btw if you buy a museum pass in one of these museums, the admission to the others - including the Prado - is free and you can jump the lines at Prado´s ticket desk.

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