Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Spanish Art

Let me start by clearly stating that I am way out of my league here. Like the students, I thoroughly enjoy seeing the original works of art, but I only have a vague understanding of their significance. Please check out the numerous online articles for much more complete information.

The painting below is by El Greco who lived from 1541 to 1614. Although he was born in Greece, he spent his most productive and innovative years living in Toledo, Spain. He is noteworthy for his creative departure from Renaissance classicism. This painting, The Burial of the Count of Orgaz, is El Greco's best known work. The students were able to view it in the Church of Santo Tomé in Toledo.

During the visit to Madrid, the engineering students spent most of a day in the Museo de Prado which is widely recognized as one of the world's greatest collections of art from the 12th to 19th centuries. It was created to house the Spanish Royal Collection and opened to the public in 1819.

Major attractions to the Prado and pivotal examples of Spanish paintings are Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor) by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) and El Tres de Mayo de 1808 en Madrid (the Third of May in 1808) by Francisco Goya (1746–1828).

For contemporary art of the late 19th century and later, the students visited the Reina Sofia. Far and away, the biggest attraction there is the famous Guernica by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).

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