Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The devil in the Prado

(four Sundays in the past already)

Velazquez’s views of the garden of the Medicis; Rafael’s “Cardinal”; El Greco’s “The Fable”, which looks more like a Toulose Lautrec; “The Embarkation of St. Peter for Rome”, a lovely Lorraine that confused me because it was labelled ‘Loreno’.

Above all, that star of acid rock from the 15th century, the graphic-art precursor of Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa and “Tarantula”. His room is labelled Bosco by the contrary Spaniards. Just so we overlook him. The Goo-roo, fortunately, knew there was some of the man’s work in the Prado somewhere, so we tracked him down in the basement level, far behind the door labelled Medieval Art.

Hieronymus Bosch.

“The Garden of the Earthly Delights”, a triptych where the upper portion of the central panel would be perfect for the cover of a particularly outré Floyd album – this from a man painting in the 1400s! And the Table of the Seven Deadly Sins, a design of simplicity and fevered imagination. Some of it made me queasy when I looked closely; no wonder the medieval Church panicked and burnt most of Bosch’s work. I’d never really looked at Bosch before. Now, when I want to check out every detail, I don’t have a Net connection. Gah!

The Spaniards seem obsessed with secrecy, with keeping their treasures to themselves as far as possible. The Musee d’Orsay (which must be my favourite art museum) allows photography as long as one doesn’t use a flash. The Prado didn’t even let me take a picture of the long gallery from the lobby (which I wanted to because there is a distinct resemblance to the main concourse of the d’Orsay, the two photos would have looked good together in my study). And of course there was the tragedy of the flamenco, where they wouldn’t let me take photos …

Perhaps I should play a Bosco on them


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11 comments:

ys said...

Let me start by saying I am NOT writing to comment on this post :)... then what am I doing here? Just thanking you. Did not dare to face the disappointment of checking ur blog again after shouting at you on 2nd Jan. Now I see that u've been coincidentally posting from 3rd Jan!!! Wow! Will take my own time and relish each line. Tell me when ur dream-book gets published. Will buy for meself and gift copies to friends too! :) :) :)

ys said...

Do you read MumbaiGirl? She makes a lot of sense to me!!!

Deepak said...

Something to check out if I ever get a chance to visit again.

Of all the art museums I have seem the Musee d'Orsay is my favourite as well (I haven't seen the Hermitage). Too bad the Prado doesn't allow photos, since I have quite a few from my last trip to the Orsay

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

YS, thank you for everything. Should I know you? If so, mail me a clue.

Deepak, we should trade pics of d'Orsay. She eez so beootifool, non?

J.A.P.

Deepak said...

Exceptionally beautiful. Extreme sloth has prevented me from getting all the pictures online, but a decent chunk can be found right here

ys said...

No clue will help - we are 'strangers' still :). Just that my way of thinking goes ditto with several of your blog-matters: nice!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I can't decide between the Reina Sofia and the Neue Pinakothek as to which is the better. The Musee d'Orsay is good, and a dream come true, but the Reina Sofia is mind blowing. I think the guernica and the excellent miros did it for me.

P

panu said...

erm, we had to study Bosch for our chaucer test.... Lets just say, he boggles my mind... especially the seven deadly sins.

thalassa_mikra said...

Prado is so exhausting - I couldn't bear to look at another painting with a classical or Christian theme. Which is why Rubens and Goya were such a relief - the former so fleshy and voluptuous, the latter dark, slightly twisted, but curious.

I was a bit underwhelmed by Velasquez, especially Las Meninas. I was really trying hard to project all that I had ever read about it on to the painting, but alas it just seemed to elude me.

Aishwarya said...

Bosch always stuns me.

Deepak said...

I forget which museum I went to in Vienna once (it's the one with all the Klimt work). The problem I had with that was similar to the one that Thalassa_Mikra had with the Prado. I hope it's a little more diverse.