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Artbeats: The Prado Museum - A Collection of Wonders

Dates

  • Thu 16 Nov 2023, 7:00pm

Restrictions

All Ages

Website

Listed by

Lisa Feyen

On the occasion of the official 200th anniversary celebrations, the first cinematic journey through the rooms, stories and emotions of one of the most visited museums in the world, its wealth of over 8000 art treasures is a spell-binding experience drawing almost 3 million visitors to Madrid every year.

Featuring Academy Award® winner Jeremy Irons.

Magnificent masterpieces tell the story of Spain and of an entire continent. We are taken to one of the temples of world art, a site of memory and a mirror to the present with 1700 works exhibited and a further 7000 art treasures preserved there. Its collection tells the story of kings, queens, dynasties, wars, defeats and victories, as well as the story of the feelings and emotions of the men and women of yesteryear and of today, whose lives are intertwined with the museum’s: rulers, painters, artists, architects, collectors, curators, intellectuals, visitors.

In 2019, the year of its 200th Anniversary celebrations, telling the story of the Prado in Madrid from the day it was "founded" – that 19th November 1819 when mention was first made of the Museo Real de Pinturas - means covering not only the last 200 years, but at least six centuries of history. The life of the Prado collection began with the birth of Spain as a nation and the marriage between Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, a union that marked the start of the great Spanish Empire. Yet, for a long time over the centuries, painting had been a universal language that knew no boundaries. If there is one museum where it is clear that painting was not affected by nationalism, then that museum must surely be the Prado, with its eclectic and multifaceted collections demonstrating that art has no passports limiting its circulation, that rather it is a universal means to understand and convey the thoughts and feelings of human beings.

This extraordinary documentary is not only about these works of art, but also about the landscape, the Royal palaces and buildings that set the scene and saw the birth and development of these art collections. This heritage is universal and includes not only the works of Vélazquez, Rubens, Titian, Mantegna, Bosch, Goya, El Greco preserved in the Prado, but also the Escorial, the Pantheon of the Royal family, the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales, the Salon de Reinos. It is a fresco contrasting interiors and exteriors, paintings and palaces, brushstrokes and gardens. The birth of the Prado Museum is an engaging story. In 1785 Charles III of Bourbon commissioned court architect Juan de Villanueva to design a building to house the Gabinete de Historia Natural. It would never serve that purpose. The building was transformed into the Museum we know today. Walking through this place of beauty means never ceasing to be amazed, removing prejudices and contradictions, discovering the myths and symbols of a wonderful, sometimes revolutionary, world.

'When abandoned by reason, imagination produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of their wonders.'
Francisco Goya

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