Following on from our blog on some of the best art-finds in Paris, we’re looking at where else in the world you can go to absorb a little artistic culture…
Find Art in Madrid
Madrid is one of the great art capitals of the world and boasts three of the world’s best known art galleries, referred to locally as the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofía. Once again you will do any of these galleries most justice by doing a bit of research, deciding in advance what you most want to see and spending your allotted time with your chosen art!
But beyond Madrid’s big three you can also find one of the few places where Goya’s paintings remain in their original setting and an art college where all the Spanish greats studied. The frescoed ceilings of the recently restored The recently restored Ermita de San Antonio de la Florida holds one of Madrid's most surprising secrets. Among its frescoed ceilings is one of a very few Goya works in its original setting. It remains exactly as painted by the master in 1798 and is simply breathtaking.
In New York, you will be likely to visit the Museum of Modern Art or the Guggenheim and beyond that any one of the dozens of rightly famous art spaces and galleries this city is home to. But spare a few hours also for something you won’t expect – The New Museum.
Located at 235 Bowery, not far from New York university, the New Museum describes itself as a leading destination for new art and new ideas. It is Manhattan's only dedicated contemporary art museum and is respected internationally for the adventurousness and global scope of its curatorial program. It has been exhibiting the astonishing, the challenging and the delightful since 1977.
The main artistic draws in the city of Milan are the Pinacoteca de Brera, Museo del Novecento and the Galleria d’Arte Moderna. The same guidelines apply for these as for all other major centres of art. If you want to get the best out of your experience, put in a little planning and focus on certain pieces or areas of a gallery and whatever you do, don’t try to crowd too much in. (When you do, everything can easily becomes a blur and the experience more overwhelming than rewarding!)
Then take a few hours to head to the refectory adjoining the Basilica di Santa Maria delle Grazie. Almost hidden on one of its walls is Milan's most famous mural, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper. It depicts the moment when Christ reveals that he's aware of his betrayal and its extraordinary power and eloquence can command several hours of your time! But getting in can be tricky. Italian opening and closing times are a mystery in themselves and the Basilica has a timetable all of its own. So book in advance or sign up for a guided city tour.
And if you are heading to any other great cultural city, just apply the same guidelines, do a little research and take that side trip off the beaten track for a visit that will stay with you forever!