Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's like the Bermuda Triangle, only with Art

Madrid, Spain. Home of the Golden Triangle of Art.
The Thyssen, the Prado and the Reina Sofia. My favourite museum, a fab collection of Spanish art, and some crazy modern stuff. Together, they form the Golden Triangle, and trust me, there's so much to see and so many long hallways that you really can get lost and never come out!
touching up the wall at the thyssen
Three amazing museums, you say?! And that's not even including what we'll call the Silver Triangle of Art: Fundacion Mapre (an exhibition space maintained by the insurance company), Casa Encendida and Caixa Forum (both maintained by banks). The good news? These three are free!
Love art but pressed for time? You can buy an art pass to visit the big ones. If you live here, I recommend the leisurely approach of visiting when they're free. Read up on an artist or a time period and go look at only that. Really look at it. It's free, you can afford not to overwhelm your eyes. Or just wander around and enjoy the ambiance. Really, dashing around museums to see every. single. thing. to make the steep admission price "worth it", isn't.
velazquez keeping watch at the entrance to the prado

Don't love art, but feel you should do something cultural? Walk along the Paseo de Prado and Recoletos (same road, name changes part way through). It's a lovely long boulevard and you can at least snap some pics of the facades of these fine institutions. The Caixa Forum's living wall alone is worth the walk.

I have a free morning, so I head over to Fundacion Mapfre. It's a travelling exhibit from the Musée d'Orsay, The Birth of Modern Art, Impressionists and Post Impressionists, so nice I see it twice. I go early  - it's free, there are timed tickets, and the place fills up. I get my ticket and brochure and then, if the weather were nicer it were earlier (it's 11 and the prices on the terraces have just been jacked up) I'd set myself up at any one of the cafes in the middle of the boulevard. Instead I cross the road and hang around in a trendy café. I enjoy a cappuccino - and, let's be honest, a croissant - as I peruse the exhibit info. Then I head back over for a wander through some great art. 


  1. I love the Golden Triangle museums (Thyssen is also my favourite) and have been to two of the three Silver Triangle sites. Loved the Orsay exhibit at Fundacion Mapfre. Just yesterday Music Guy and I were remembering Monet's three versions of the Rouen Cathedral.