Today we took a day of rest, a long siesta if you will. This mostly meant getting a little extra sleep, not planning any shoots and visiting the Prado museum. This is my first real art museum and I was unsure what to expect.
It was incredible. People have always told me it's a completely different experience seeing something in person than it is in a book or online, so I knew going in it would be somewhat different. I didn't realize how big these works are. Gigantic. Entire rooms. I got chills on numerous occasions as I realized I had studied some of the pieces I saw multiple times. They have a massive amount of Goya, 3 stories worth, and all I could think was how someone gets that many pieces done in a lifetime considering their size.
This brings me to a very interesting debate. Why can't we take pictures in museums? After some research I've found a few lack luster reasons.
- lash could damage some art. While this is very unlikely, I understand being overly cautious. Just make sure people don't use flash or keep those pieces in an area where you don't allow photography
- Crowding. It's a simple fix, just ask visitors to be quick and courteous. Don't allow selfie sticks.
- Copyright. This one is a bit confusing and ridiculous. People are taking pictures of the works already in secrecacy (me included!). f pieces are on loan and the owner doesn't want them photographed, don't allow photographs in that section.
- Takes away sales in the giftshop. This I don't quite understand. A picture from my cell phone isn't going to replace a book or souvenir. Also this is easily fixable by changing how you make revenue...
- Printing photos. This is the most ridiculous one. Most if not every piece of art you can find in high resolution online, for free. Why would I ever print some shitty photo I took on my phone.
- Atmosphere. This is, to me, the strongest reason to keep photos out. Everyone starts taking photos, selfies, posing in front of a piece, etc. This would bother me and I could understand why it would take away from the experience. That said, theres still large groups of teenagers, tourist talking, any plenty of other things that also take away from the solitude of enjoying a masterpiece. I think emphasizing people to be respectful is an important way to help.
Just charge visitors a fee for a photography pass. You can take as many selfies in front of David as you want. I didn't even mention that most of the guards are focusing on as many people as they can to not take pictures as I'm secretly running my fingers over the paint to see what it feels like (I would never do that).
Many American galleries such as the MET have started allowing pictures. Because honestly it just makes sense. To me it promotes the desire to go to these places. Just as I said in the beginning of the post, seeing these works in print or online is nothing like experiencing them in person. So why would taking a selfie in front of them change that? All of that said, enjoy me with Saturn devouring his son.
And here's me with a little work from some guy named Caravaggio.
I really just wanted a few quick pics for memory sake. Surprisingly enough I'm not someone who takes a lot of pictures of things/life events. I very much enjoy taking things in and not feeling like I have to photograph everything. All of that said, I do enjoy looking back on photos for memories, just not 200 of the same activity. After a long time there. We finished all the rooms, walked a lot of steps, and lost our breath multiple times at the beauty in history.
Rebecca and I were pretty hungry after such an experience. Being that she's vegan, eating here in Madrid isn't the easiest especially with me around. They seem to eat a lot of meat here. She looked up some places on our way back to the metro and found one. Just a quick 25 minute walk... we get there around 8pm and she talks to a guy in Spanish. Apparently they are open for drinks but don't start serving food until 11:30pm. A recurring trend here in Spain. Places legitimately don't open until 10pm. It's crazy. I'm exhausted by 10 after such a day. I don't know how they do it!
Rebecca found an organic vegan non GMO super food store and bought some stuff to make. We both headed to our places and I came in to relax but was still hungry. Thus I ventured out for the first time on my own! Granted it's literally a one minute walk from where I am staying, I did it! I visited a tapas which Spain is known for. Essentially throughout Madrid there are these restaurants where you can walk in, put food on your plate and eat immediately. Paying for whatever you grab at the end of your meal via the toothpicks/sticks used to hold them together. It's actually wonderful because it's food instantly, tasty, and not expensive. Why don't these exist elsewhere? Side note, beer is the cheapest drink on the menu, considering I don't drink I splurged for a coke!
I relaxed. Walked back home and settled in. What was intended to be a relaxing day was far more walking than planned but I can't waste a day here! When is the next time I'll be in Madrid?
Thanks for reading!
ps. I barely took any pictures but did grab some black and whites I actually enjoy. All my photographs will get posted later though, or if you want a sneak peak you can always follow me on instagram!