Art and Gardens in Madrid

Roses in the garden of Museo Sorolla

Roses in the garden of Museo Sorolla

We have just returned from a quick trip to Madrid. The main purpose of our visit was to look around the famous art galleries of the city. Madrid’s galleries house the finest collections of art in the world. As an antidote to viewing all the art, we found the City’s gardens very relaxing. On our first evening, we visited the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. The permanent collection comprises mainly works by 19th and early 20th century artists and includes many famous impressionist and expressionist paintings. At the moment there is also a special exhibition of paintings by Cezanne.
Pond and fountain in the garden of Museo Sorolla

Pond and fountain in the garden of Museo Sorolla

Early the next morning we visited the Museo Sorolla. This was the house where the famous Valencian impressionist, Joaquín Sorolla, lived. Much of the house, including his studio, has been preserved and the building houses a great collection of his paintings. Around the house are the most beautiful, shady gardens. To the front are elegant standard roses, some of which are a lovely, dusky pink that are actually featured in his paintings, and around the side is a pond and fountain.
Peonies in the Real Jardín Botánico

Peonies in the Real Jardín Botánico

We then moved on to the Prado. You need at least 4 hours to get around and view this magnificent collection of old masters which include famous Spanish works by Velázquez, El Greco and Goya as well as masterpieces by Raphael, Rubens, Bosch and many others. On loan from the the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp, was a striking work, Virgin and Child with Angels, by Jean Fouquet, painted in 1452.
Roses in the Real Jardín Botánico

Roses in the Real Jardín Botánico

Next to the Prado are the Royal Botanical Gardens. A lovely place to relax after seeing all that art. The gardens display a big collection of named roses, irises and peonies.
Estanque, Parque del Retiro

Estanque, Parque del Retiro

The last art museum we visited was the Centro de Arte, Reina Sofia, which is devoted to modern art. The permanent collection has many famous paintings by Picasso, Dali and Miro. Pride of place is given to Guernica but our favorite Picasso was ‘Mujer en Azul’ painted in 1901.
Palicio de Cristal, Parque de l Retiro

Palicio de Cristal, Parque de l Retiro

On our final morning we strolled around the Retiro Gardens, a 130 hectare park in the city centre. A large boating lake is overlooked by a statue of Alfonso X11 and the Palacio de Cristal is a lovely glass building in the centre. However, we found the most beautiful aspect of the gardens were its magnificent trees under which you can relax on benches and listen to the bird song.
Trees in the Parque del Retiro

Trees in the Parque del Retiro

We flew from Almeria to Madrid with Air Europa. You can get return tickets for under 50 euros. At the airport we bought a three day unlimited metro pass which not only provided us with cheap transfers from the airport to the city centre but proved a quick and efficient way of getting about the city. We stayed in an inexpensive hostal. The room was clean, had an en suite bathroom and WiFi, but it was pretty basic and noisy. Next time we would like to try the Ritz.
We have posted a few more photos on http://coloursofspain.wordpress.com.

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About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live in the little coastal village of Las Negras in the heart of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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2 Responses to Art and Gardens in Madrid

  1. Wim Thys says:

    Very interesting. We always like very much your blogs. We are now back in Belgium. For the moment weather is not good. We are sitting around our woodfire in the evening. Wim and Marieke.

  2. Angela bell says:

    I have been to Madrid and loved it,the Prado,the botanical gardens,Plaza mejor etc. but I would love to go to Sorolla’s house I love his work,the light is astounding in them. What asmashing trip ,you mmust have felt high!!

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