Visiting the Prado was one of the main motivations for spending some time in Madrid.  The oh-so-famous museum did not disappoint.

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From the outside, the Prado is pretty undistinguished, but immediately on entering, it’s one incredible masterpiece after another.   I really want to photograph some of my favorites, but cameras were not allowed.  Instead, I googled to find copies on the web.  The pictures are more interesting with some background information, so I’ve linked each to the excellent Prado website.   The Prado pages also let you enlarge the paintings so you can see the details lost in these small images.

The main hall had many paintings by Rubens.  It’s hard to pick just one, but the eyes of St. Paul were intense.

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This is called “Nude Old Man in the Sun,” by Mariano Fortuny.  It was painted in 1874.

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This painting from 1909 is called “Boys at the Beach” by Joaqim Sorolla.

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This painting called “The Colossus,” was thought to be by Goya, but now is attributed to one of his students or friends.  It was painted sometime between 1818 and 1825.

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One of the artists I most wanted to see was Goya, and what better place to see his work than the Prado?   I especially like his sometimes macabre and nightmarish works, like this one from 1798, titled, “Witch’s Flight.”

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Goya painted a series of these nightmare scenes for himself, called the black paintings, to decorate the walls of his home.  I love these, but it’s hard to imagine this series covering the walls of the place you call home.

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We saved the Bosch works for late in our visit.  This is “The Temptations of Saint Anthony” painted between 1510 and 1515.  If you’re confused, click the picture.

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This is the famous “Garden of Earthly Delights.”  It finished me off for the day.  Complete overload.  No mas!

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The Prado was satisfying and exhausting.  I’m not sure how much time I’d need to get through this entire museum, but the Prado is a great reason to return to Madrid for a longer stay.