Visiting the Prado in Madrid was one of the major museum experiences of this major museum junkie’s life.
There were tears and there was laughter. There were feet so sore we barely made it to the end, but we saw every room, every piece on exhibit. Every single one.
M was a trooper! It probably helped that I was occasionally rendered speechless. At one point I worked my way to the front of a crowd huddled around something, and found myself face to face with Bosch’s Prince of Hell gulping down a body. I was standing not more than 40cm from the right side of the triptych (I happened to be on the hell side, but of course). I grew dizzy, not even having known The Garden of Earthly Delights was in the museum, and there it was – enormous, iconic beyond all imagination, after a lifetime of seeing memes and imitations, and here was the original, within an arm’s reach. The spirit soars! And the body stumbles in humility.
Here is a sampling lifted from the web, as personal photos were not allowed in the museum. That Hieronymus Bosch is included. All these and thousands of other famous pieces of art sit inside the unassuming 18th century building on the edge of the park.
I will never forget the day we saw them: Dürer, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Velázquez… all in one place.