The gallery Joan Gaspar is currently holding an exhibition of art by Joan Miró who was a good friend of the artist. The works of art cover the period 1957 to 1975 when the artist was influened by Pollock, Rothko, De Kooning and Motherwell. The Joan Miró exhibition will run until 30th June and entrance is free.
Address: Gral Castaños, 9
Tel:(+34) 913 199 244 -(+34) 913 199 393
Timetable: 10:30-2/ 5-8 p.m..
I received an email from Nuria of Arte en Madrid today, inviting me to take a look at her online Art Directory for Madrid. The site is very comprehensive, covering everything from artists and festivals to museums and art ‘supermarkets’ and I’m sure it will grow even more with the ability for people to add their sites for free. It’s only drawback is that all the information is in Spanish – though I think most non-Spanish speakers will be able to fumble around the site! I have already identified a couple of their listed sites which will make for good articles in the future.
The Easter period in Madrid sees a number of processions and events taking place. Right across the city the numerous churches will open their doors and religious statues that have spent the whole year locked up will be carried out to celebrate Easter. If you’ve never seen Spanish processions before, and if you’re in Madrid, you’re in for a treat. Penitent woshsippers dressed in robes (and dressed like the Klu Klux Klan), bands playing and ordinary people taking in the spectacle will fill the street. The Muncipal Council of Madrid has prepared a full itinerary, which can be found on the Esmadrid website (in Spanish only).
Th City Council of Madrid is offering visitors, and citizens, of Madrid 37 guided tours of the City. The tours cover all interests and needs. The tours are set to run from February to June and cost around 3.10 Euros on foot or 6 Euros by bus/car. Here are a selection of them from the website:
- Madrid’s Barroque Churches
- Madrid’s Convents
- Panoramic Views of Madrid on Bike
- Goya in Madrid
- Legends of Old Madrid
- Medieval Madrid
- Classic Taverns of Madrid
However, all of the above information is in Spanish – I would assume that the tours will also be in Spanish. Should you wish, you can download an English version from the Descubre Madrid site.
For the next few weeks (until the 27th February), the streets of Madrid will become one big art gallery, where works of art will be displayed outside. The reason is to coincide with Madrid’s big Art Fair, ARCO, which takes place from the 10th to 14th February. Buildings, taxis, bus shelters, buses, the Metro and even the trees lining the Paseo del Prado will be covered in works of art. One building to certainly look out for is the Círculo de Bellas Artes (pictured left), which is covered with images of Madrid families from the 1970’s.
To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Brücke foundation, one of the main modernist movements of the 20th Century, the Thyssen Museum and the Fundación Caja Madrid, are putting on an exhibition titled Brücke, the birth of German Expressionism. In total there are 196 exhibits on show, by artists like Erich Heckel, Fritz Bleyl, Ernst Ludwig Kichner y Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Max Pechstein, Otto Müller and Emile
Nolde. The exhibition has eleven themed chapters at his heart, 5 of which are displayed in the Fundación Caja Madrid. The exhibition runs until the 15th May. For more details visit the well-presented online virtual exhibition – it can be viewed in English.
Fundación Caja Madrid – Plaza de San Martín, 1
Thyssen Museum – Paseo del Prado, 8
Fundación Caja Madrid – Free
Thyssen Museum – 6 Euros for Brücke, 10 Euros for Permanent Collection.
I just came across an interesting website for a medieval shop in Madrid. It appears that Arte Medieval creates authentic reproductions of medieval art using the same materials and techniques as employed by craftsmen of medieval times. – most products are done by hand and include mural paintings, paintings done on stone, wood and stained glass.
c/ Alcalá, 107 (View streetmap)
All over Madrid you will be able to see beautiful nativity scenes, in churches, palaces, the Plaza Mayor and even in stores. Some of the more well known ones can be seen on a guided tour, which takes in the nativity scenes of the Plaza Mayor, the Convento of the Carboneras, Príncipe (Royal Palace) and the Monasteries/Convents of la Encarnación, las Descalzas y Santa Isabel. These tours start from the Royal Palace (the Almudena door) on the 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30 of December and cost 3.15 Euros for adults and 2.55 for children and retired people and I believe they are conducted in Spanish. You can always go to the above venues at your own convenience as they will be open all over Christmas.
I saw in the online newspaper ABC that Madrid Card has just released a special Madrid Card Navidad (Christmas) that only costs 20 Euros. The Madrid Card offers, amongst other things:
● Entry to over 40 museums (like the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofía)
● Unlimited travel (Bus, Metro & Suburban Trains)
● Guided Tour of Hapsburg Madrid and
● Discounts in bars, restaurants and shows
These cards can either be bought online or at hotels and tourist offices. Here are the prices as displayed on the Madrid Card site:
● The 1 day card: 28€.
● The 2 day card: 42€ – 4€ discount when you buy it on the website.
● The 3 day card: 55€. 5€ discount when you buy it on the website.
Though I’m not sure how ABC do their maths, it might be worth doing yours beforehand to see if it is worth the expense.
*Update* – El Mundo newspaper points out that the 20 Euro rate is for a 2-day pass.
From 20th October to 6th February 2005, the Prado Museum will be putting on an exhibition called the Spanish Portrait. It includes 88 works of art, primarily from Spanish artists like Greco, Ribera, Murillo, Velazquez, Zurbarán, Goya, Miró and Picasso but also including Juan de Flandes, Titian, Pieter Kempener, Anthonis Mor Van Dashorst and Anton Raphael Mengs, some of which have never been exhibited in Spain before. As the Prado Museum puts it: “this is the first time that the genre will be shown from a broad and ambitious perspective, spanning the Modern and Contemporary periods. The fact that it is organised by the Prado Museum makes it possible to include some fundamental pieces (such as the royal families painted by Velázquez and Goya) which would have been absent anywhere else.”A complete overview (in English, too) of the exhibition can be found on the Prado website.
Ticket Price: 3 Euros; free on Sundays
Opening Times: Tues-Sun, 9am-7pm
The Madrid Chamber of Commerce website has an interesting section, called Rutas por Madrid, on their site dedicated to tours around Madrid. They give you route maps, brief overview of what you are likely to see and recommended places to eat, drink and shop. They include Literario (Literary), Medieval, Romántico (Romantic), Moderno (Modern), Austrias, Borbones (Bourbons), Gran Vía-Princesa, Arte (Art).
You can also download the details in pdf format. The only potential disadvantage for some people is that the details are in Spanish. However, there is a section within this website called Madrid Routes which gives a cut-down version of the Spanish section – no downloadable pdf’s, sorry.
Guided Tours of Madrid
Virtual Tours of Madrid
Starting on the 13th Ocotber and going on until the 14th November, the Festival de Otoño (Autumn festival) brings together dance, music and theatre acts to a wide range of venues across Madrid. You can enjoy music from Brazil, including Caetano Veloso, and the Serrat Sinfónico. Dance spectacles come from Spain, Belgium and Holland and inlcude a flamenco show called the 4 elements.
Gauguin and the Origins of Symbolism, which opens today (Sept 28th), is one of the major art exhibitions on display this autumn in Madrid. The exhibition is organised by both the Thyssen Museum and the Fundación Caja Madrid and held in 2 locations: the museum itself and the Fundación’s own building. As the Thyssen website says: [the exhibition] focuses on the period during which Paul Gauguin and other artists of his time began to move away from impressionism and develop a new pictorial language influenced by Symbolism”.
In total there are 186 paintings on display. It covers the period from when he first became a professional painter to the time he went to Tahiti. From the 26th October to the 26th Novermber there will also be a series of conferences about the subject. The information on the Thyssen Museum website is very good (and in English).
Duration: 28th September – 9th January
Address (Thyssen):Paseo del Prado
Opening Times: 10 a.m to 7 p.m
Address (Fundación Caja Madrid): Plaza de San Martín
Opening Times: 10 a.m to 8 p.m
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1. Get the Metro or Airport Bus from the airport to the centre of town. It’s far cheaper than a taxi.
2. In order to get around the city buy a 10-ticket metro/bus pass. This entitles you to use both the bus and metro – also don’t forget to ask for a metro map at any station.
3. Free admission to the Prado Museum on Sundays and for over 65’s and under 18’s with identification at all times.
4. Buy a reduced price ticket(7.66 Euros) for the Golden Triangle of Museums, which allows you to get in to the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen Musuem.
5. Keep an eye out for the Menú del Día (plate of the day) signs. It consists of a 3-course meal and has to be offered by all eating establishments. It is usually accompanied with bread and wine and usually offers great value from around 9/10 Euros.
6. Buy the Guía del Ocio guide or the Metropoli arts/culture magazine from the newspaper El Mundo on Fridays.
7. Change your eating/going out times. The Spanish eat lunch around 2-3 pm; dinner between 8-10 pm and won’t go out on the town till around 10.30pm
8. Don’t worry about the drinking water, it is exceptionally good and comes from the Madrid mountains.
9. Don’t buy/sell currency from the small exhange booths (usually located around Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía). For a much better exchange rate go direct to the big banks but don’t forget they close at around 2pm.
10. Remember that most palaces, museums and other places of interest are closed on Mondays.
From tomorrow (September 2nd) and for 3 nights Bizet’s Carmen will play at the Conde Duque Centre. With the intention of putting on an opera that most can afford, prices will start at 25 Euros and rise to 40 Euros. One hundred and fifty artists are involved, many of them from music conservatories and schools and include the Orquesta Filarmonía (which play in the Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid and the Teatro Monumental de Madrid), the Orfeón Filarmónico, Coro Eurolírica and the Escolanía de San Martín de la Vega.
Times: 10 p.m.
Prices: 25, 35 and 40 Euros
Ticket Office: Patio Central de Conde Duque
Address: C/ Conde Duque, 9 y 11
Metro: Plaza de España, Noviciado, Ventura Rodriguez y San Bernardo
Los Veranos de la Villa website