Discovering the Prado Museum

Alicia Torija López, PhD.

The Museo del Prado is renowned as being the most important museum in Spain, and one of the finest art galleries in the world. Featuring a majestic atmosphere of marble floors and high vaulted ceilings, the museum holds some of the world’s most famous masterpieces: Goya´s Black Paintings, Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Rubens’s Las Tres Gracias, Bosch’s El Jardín de las Delicias, Fran Angelico’s La Anunciación, or Tintoretto’s El Lavatorio, stand among other spectacular works by artists such as El Greco, Titian, Caravaggio, Dürer and Raphael, among others.

This course aims to introduce students to the many dimensions of painting (pictorial, historical, artistic, and cultural) with a special focus on the three main Spanish masters well represented in this museum: El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. The course will help us to understand the universal legacy of these immense artists and also to expand our knowledge on general issues of art and history in Spain.

The majority of classes will be held in the Prado Museum, an incomparable experience for American university students. We will work directly from the paintings themselves, looking for new ways of understanding, observing, and interacting. The course will include a class to be held at the Hermitage of San Antonio de la Florida, best known for its ceiling and dome frescoes by Goya, as well as for being the saint’s burial place.

This course goes beyond the limits of art history to include topics such as feminism, war, museum management, religion, mythology and the history of Spain.

[bio] [syllabus]

“The Prado Museum is more important for Spain than the monarchy and the Republic put together.”

Manuel Azaña (President of the Second Spanish Republic – 1936)

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply