Visual Treats at the Prado
The Prado Museum in Madrid is one of the foremost art galleries in the world to visit. It received 2.8 million visitors which is a huge number so what are they coming to see?
The collection at the Prado houses 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures so there is lots to see and enjoy. Amongst the artists featured are Diego Velazquez, El Greco, Titian and of course Goya.
One that grabbed my attention was the Lovers of Teruel by Antonio Munoz Degrain (1884).
This depicts the last scene of a tragic love story of childhood sweethearts Diego and Isabel. Diego's family fell on hard times so Diego made an agreement with Isabel's father to allow him 6 years in which to recover his financial status in order to marry Isabel. Upon his return he finds her father has married her to another. So one night he hides in Isabel's house and upon seeing her asks her for a kiss or else he would die. Isabel torn between her love for him and her faithfulness to her husband refuses.
Diego dies of heartbreak and the painting shows his coffin over which lies dead Isabel from the pain and grief of Diego's death. She is dressed in her wedding gown. They are shown prominently in the painting whilst the spectators look on shadowed in the background adding to the sad and tragic mood of this sepia coloured painting.
The painting really draws you in due to it's drama, mood and emotion all demonstrated through the sheer huge scale, colour and style of the piece. The central characters of the story are positioned in such a way that you feel you have been watching a theatrical play and this is the final scene. It is indeed a moving work of art!