45 Minutes To See Prado

Old Feb 20th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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45 Minutes To See Prado

This kind of thing comes up so often here, and I'm always criticized for my breakneck itineraries.

So I'm especially delighted to see this article in last Sunday's NYT Travel section:

http://travel.nytimes.com/2010/02/14...14culture.html

I am surprised he chose the Mantegna as the Renaissance painting. As much as I like Mantegna, that painting seems to have really faded. I probably would have picked the Raphael portrait.

I can't really remember Goya's portraits of King Carlos IV all that well. Surprised that he didn't pick the portrait of the family instead.

Article excerpt:

Well, how about 45 minutes? Can you really do a major museum justice in that amount of time? Surprisingly, one museum official seems to think so: Gabriele Finaldi, the Prado’s deputy director for conservation and research, and the one usually tapped to show visiting heads of state and other dignitaries the museum’s remarkable collection of paintings. “Forty-five minutes is the perfect amount of time to get to know the Prado,” said Mr. Finaldi.
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Old Feb 20th, 2010, 07:34 PM
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It's an interesting article. Even in small museums I spend at least an hour so I doubt I could see a major museum in 45 minutes; I'd feel cheated.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 04:32 PM
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Just topping. I'm surprised that the "slow" travellers are not harping on this.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 04:49 PM
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It's perhaps not worth the argument: either you buy it or you don't. And it takes all kinds, yes?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:08 PM
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I definitely agree with that, but will have to try to remember to post this link in the future when I read posts that criticize others for wanting to rush through museums.

At least we have it on good authority (Prado expert) that yes, you can see Prado in 45 minutes.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:12 PM
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I'm too lazy to search for the old thread-- how many minutes did you spend in the Prado that time?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:20 PM
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I checked my notes. I think it was 25 minutes for that show on Patinir. I skipped one final gallery of paintings on followers of Patinir to rush to the airport.

These are the notes I took on that show, just in case anyone is *really* *that* curious.

Well Fifi, you and I spent about 25 minutes (or less?) at the Gugg for the Kandinsky show, right?

==

I counted the number of paintings on view in the galleries devoted to Patinir, and I think that there were 22 total. But one was attributed to Patinir and Massys jointly. Massys painted the five figures in this painting (I think it was called Temptation of St. Anthony).

Only 11 or 12 were attributed to Patinir solely. The rest but one were attributed to Patinir and his workshop (or studio?). One was attributed as "Circle of Patinir." It was unclear to me how paintings were attributed to Patinir solely. [I have no idea what I am writing here!] Even for these cases, the labels would note that parts of the paintings were not by Patinir (for example, a certain figure, etc.). I remember at least two paintings from private collections, one of which was attributed to Patinir solely. There were a few paintings all based on a landscape with St. Jerome in Prado.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:23 PM
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The most interesting part of my notes:

"I returned to the airport at 9:52 am. I could have squeezed another 10 minutes out for the show."

Laugh.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:24 PM
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You seem sad there is no argument... Perhaps it is no fun to be provocative if no-one bites.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 05:29 PM
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Yeah, it's a bit like that saying about a tree that falls in the forest and no one hears.

Did you bite me in a previous life perhaps? Your join date is January 2010 and you're mildly provocative already.

But fear not -- there's always a perennial, palpable tension between the "slow" and "fast" travellers.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:09 PM
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As the mother of a 10 year old boy, I really appreciate the link. The National Gallery in Wash DC has a similar 1-hour list, and after a trip to the Uffizi last summer, I wished all museums did the same. We will be visiting Madrid this summer, and will take the article along. Thank you!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 06:44 PM
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Hi, I've mentioned this in the past, but check out the series of articles Nick Trend has published for the Telegraph as well. There are all titled something like "How to visit xxx museum." He has written about Prado, the Louvre, the Met Museum, the British Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, the National Gallery London, the Vatican Museum, and probably others.

Many museum websites also have their own lists. As you mentioned, the National Gallery DC has one hour lists for the East and West wings. The Prado also has a list of masterpieces on its website.

The British Museum has, I think, one-hour, two-hour and three-hour lists. The Vatican Museums publishes on its website lists of 10, 20 and 30 masterpieces (or something like that).

While we are on the Prado, Google Earth has closeups of Prado masterpieces -- speaking of which I should try this out now that I have a new laptop. Your boy may find it "cool" to zero in on art on a computer -- maybe as fun as playing a computer game!

Happy museums hopping, fast or slow!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:13 PM
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Or they read the Reader's Digest Large Print Edition with the pictures.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:22 PM
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Oh, now you see you bit, Aduchamp! Sigh!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:45 PM
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@ questionqueen,

My boy was 10 the summer we went to Madrid, and he had a great time at the Prado. We took longer than an hour, but I like to make museums fun, and try to design something that will get the child interested. With the Prado, I knew my son loved dogs, so his mission was to spot the dogs in the paintings. "Found one!" was the cry-out, as he circled the paintings, counting up the number of dog he could find. Interestingly, at the end, in the museum shop, we found the perfect t-shirt for him -- it had a host of cartooned dogs and written on it: Los perros del Prado. Kismet!

Also, keep your eyes open for Diego Valezquez de Silva's San Antonio Abad y San Pablo (St. Anthony & St. Paul) -- my son looked at that painting and the bird flying above with something in its mouth and said the title of the painting was "Praying for a MacDonald's"! The bird really did look like it had a Big Mac in its beak!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 07:49 PM
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If I only could spend 45 minutes there (what a shame that would be) I'd spend 20 of them with the Velasquez paintings, then go see Bosch (taking 10 minutes to sort that one out) and spend the rest of the time gazing lovingly at the Rafael's nearby.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Why bother?
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:06 PM
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I don't know why people assume that a short time has to be rushed. I often go to the "Free Friday Nights" an hour before closing and just concentrate on one room or one artist. When you go to a restaurant, you don't eat everything on the menu.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:13 PM
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One of my more amusing travel moments was in a museum in Budapest. A group led by an English speaking guide without breaking stride or stopping and pointing with his umbrella at a painting said, "That is one I wanted to show you."

Well, he kept his word.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2010, 08:23 PM
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@ Surfergirl - thanks for the suggestions. My son is also a fan of dogs, so I might steal your game! I'd love to know of any other Madrid sights he enjoyed - we're spending 2 weeks in Spain in June, focusing on Madrid and Andalucia. Thanks again!
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