Discovering the Prado Museum (DPM)

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. Inserted in a majestic atmosphere of marble floors and high vaulted ceilings, the museum holds some of the world’s most famous masterpieces you might remember as slides in art history classes: Goya´s black paintings, Velázquez’s Las Meninas, Ruben’s Las Tres Gracias, Bosch’s El Jardín de las Delicias, Fran Angelico’s La Anunciación, or Tintoretto ‘s El Lavatorio, to name but a few, stand among other dizzying works by artists such as El Greco, Titian, Caravaggio, Dürer or Raphael, among others.

This course aims to introduce students in the many dimensions of painting (pictorial, historical, artistic, and cultural) with a special focus on the three main Spanish masters that are very well represented in this museum: El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya. This vision 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 of Spain.

This course will take a practical approach, so the main part of the classes will be held in the own Prado Museum, making of it a unique experience. We will work directly from the paintings themselves, looking for new ways of understanding, observation, and interaction. The course will include also 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 his burial place.

This course is not an art class, topics such as feminism, war, museum management, religion, mythology or history of Spain form a common thread of the program.

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The Prado Museum is the most important thing for Spain, more than the monarchy and Republic together.

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

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