Under the last Spanish October skies of 2022, I and three of my students went to Madrid. Our goal was to spend Halloween in the national capital and explore all the works of Francisco Goya, who had been the topic of the month in my class. The legendary Prado Museum has the largest collection of Goya's works and I wanted my students to discover them all. But we had many other exciting experiences ahead of us!
I picked up my last student in Ondara, and we hit the motorway. Four and a half hours later, including a coffee break, we were at our hotel. We went to our rooms and put away our equipment. We refreshed ourselves with a snack in our rooms. One student had brought a kettle, so she could drink tea, which she did
We went down to the lobby and reception called our taxi. By 3.30pm we were at the Prado. I had the most delicious coffee in the museum cafeteria, and we went in search of Goya.
We did find him waiting for us at the ticket office.
* Report by Karla Ingleton Darocas. Hons. B. A. (KarlaDarocas.com)
We had to walk past the salons dedicated to Joaquin Sorolla, so we just had to enjoy those works. Furthermore, we also saw works from the Neoclassical era and the Romantic period. Finally, we arrived at Goya's historic epic works, the 3rd and 4th of May.
Then we came to the room with his Black Paintings. On the next floor were his works from the time when he was the King's painter. The top floor was filled with his earliest works, which he created for the royal tapestry factory.
I was pleased to see that this floor also had a special exhibition of works by the late Baroque/Rococo painter Luis Paret y Alcázar (1746-1799). His works are rare, and his background story is fascinating. I had read a lot about him because I was interested in his works, so I was delighted to find this exhibition.
Knowing that the museum would be closing at 7:00pm we made our way to the Murillo exit and down the street to the Mexican restaurant before heading back to the hotel in a taxi.
The next morning we were up early. We did not want to miss our next adventure, because it was a very special one.
We had the taxi drop us off at the Casa de Mexico. Not only that, but we were greeted by a huge skeleton, three or four metres high, hanging from the building. Around the building were posters for the special exhibition showing the early work of Frida Kahlo, Mexico's most famous symbolist painter.
The Casa de Mexico is an early 20th-century mansion in Madrid's Chamberí district. It was inaugurated in 2018 as a place of cultural exchange and knowledge between Mexico and Spain. It is part of the Embassy of Mexico.
In addition to the Frida Kahlo exhibition, there was also a bookshop and a permanent collection of Mexican art. On the ground floor was the Mexican restaurant Punta Arena, which we will visit on our next visit.