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If there is one thing you have to do while you’re in Madrid, it is to visit the Reina Sofia Museum. I had no idea how huge Guernica was until I saw it for myself. Wikipedia says that it is 3.35 m x 7.75 m. That sounds about right. As soon as I laid my eyes on that painting, I got the chills all over.
Most people spend a few seconds on each painting at a museum. However, you know a painting is special when people just stand and observe a painting for at least a couple of minutes. I spent about five, just observing and thinking and wondering. Would Guernica have made me so emotional if I did not know about the background? Would it have been so effective if it was in color? What if I didn’t recognize it? There was a guard at each side of the painting. I heard that there used to be ten guards around it to prevent it from vandalism; when the painting was first hung up, it was extremely controversial.
At the museum, I also saw a string of photos taken by Dario? Daro? something, of Guernica from its inception. I was intrigued that there used to be a fist instead of the light bulb (above the horse) that we can see now.
Also, the architecture of the museum itself is remarkable, with its glass elevators and pavilions and whatnot. The areas of the building that have been renovated, with their glass and steel structures, blend surprisingly well with the older parts of the building. The picture above is a view from one of the pavilions.
*Only three paintings out of the thousands that I’ve seen in my life stirred up strong emotions. I’ll write about the other two some other time.