• Madrid’s Artistic Offerings this Autumn

    by  • August 27, 2014 • Art, City Breaks, Culture Breaks, Exhibitions, Fashion, Madrid

    What’s on at the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofia

    As I’m currently on a bit of an artistic vibe, I thought I’d turn my attention to the Spanish capital and take a look at what’s happening in Madrid’s trio of great art institutions this autumn, giving you the perfect added extra to any Madrid short break over the next few months.

    Leading the charge as always must surely be the Prado Museum and there’s two exhibitions worth mentioning here. If you’re travelling to Madrid over the next few weeks and fancy popping into the Prado, then you’ll catch an exhibition devoted to El Greco and Modern Painting, running until 5th October. With over 100 paintings and artworks on display not only by El Greco himself but by a who’s who of both national and international artists inspired by the Spaniard – Cézanne, Manet, Sorolla, Picasso, Modigliani, Derain, Rivera, Chagall, Moore, Bacon and Pollock, to name but a few – the exhibition features works from the Prado’s own extensive archives, as well as loans from prestigious galleries worldwide as well as private collections.

    Madrid Prado Museum

    Following El Greco at the end of October (21st October to 8th February, 2015) is a temporary exhibition, the first of its kind in Spain, devoted to the art of Bernini, considered, as the Prado itself describes “one of the most influential creative figures of the 17th century and among the great masters of history of art”. You’ll also find two further exhibitions taking place over the winter months: the first is Spanish Drawings from the Hamburger Kunsthalle: Cano, Murilla and Goya (30th October, 2014 to 8th February, 2015) whilst the second is dedicated to Goya’s Tapestry Cartoons in the Context of Court Paintings (24th November, 2014 to 25th May 2015). And is none of those whet your appetite, the Prado’s expansive permanent collection alone is guaranteed to satisfy.

    Walk a short distance along the Paseo del Prado and you’ll come to the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza where ‘Pop Art Myths’ (for my previous blog devoted to this exhibition, click here) runs for just a couple more weeks, concluding on the 14th of September. Thereafter, from the 22nd of October, the museum turns its attention to the world of fashion with an exciting exhibition devoted to the French couturier, Hubert de Givenchy. The first major retrospective devoted to this esteemed designer and indeed the museum’s first fashion foray, the Thyssen-Bornemisza offers a selection of Givenchy’s finest sartorial creations over the past 50 years, from the founding of Maison Givenchy in 1952 to his retirement in 1996.

    Amongst the collection on display will be dresses designed for some of the most iconic women of the 20th century including Jackie Kennedy, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Caroline of Monaco and Audrey Hepburn, whom he considered both his muse and friend. The exhibition runs until the 18th of January, 2015 and in my humble opinion is an absolute must-see!

    Last but not least, there’s the Museo Nacional Centro del Arte Reina Sofia and a wide range of exhibitions taking place at this Mecca of modern art. What particularly caught my eye is the retrospective devoted to, Richard Hamilton, a key figure in the genre of Pop Art and considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century. Following on from its successful turn at the Tate Modern earlier this year, the exhibition was the last project in which Hamilton directly participated (he died in 2011) and offers a fascinating overview of his body of work, from photography, drawings and prints to industrial design, advertising and the digital manipulation of images. Divided into 14 chronological sections, highlights include the cover of The Beatles’ White Album and My Marilyn. The exhibition runs until the 13th of October.


    With a French grandmother, childhood holidays on the continent and a degree in French and Spanish, a love of languages and travel has always been in my blood. Fresh from university with an unfettered enthusiasm to show off my linguistic ability and first-hand knowledge of the world beyond the UK, I entered the travel industry and, 16 years on, I’m still there! With several years spent in the luxury sector planning escorted holidays across Europe for the American market, followed by an even longer tenure designing short breaks with a difference in the must-see cities of Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Amsterdam, Madrid, Prague, Florence, Brussels, Venice, Salzburg, Milan, Krakow and Berlin (to name but a few), it’s fair to say that Europe is my passion! Today my travels have taken me far beyond the boundaries of Europe with so many destinations still to discover, yet the continent abounds in such a wealth of treasures – historical and architectural, cultural and musical, gastronomic, artistic and linguistic – that its appeal, for me, will be eternal.