Saturday, September 29, 2012

Kimber at the Thyssen

On our last day at the city, Kimber and I visited the Thyssen-Bornemisza. And look at what we found in the lobby.

Those are restoration technicians working on a Tintoretto. Be still, my heart.

Paradise, Tintoretto

This little website has a whole bunch of information on the process of the restoration work done on the painting, if you're interested.

We also got to see this fantastic exhibition on the work of Edward Hopper.

Gas, Edward Hopper
Morning in a City, Edward Hopper
Hotel Room, Edward Hopper

American filmmaker Ed Lachmann created a 3D reconstruction of Morning Sun for the exhibition, which was pretty amazing.

The original.

The recreation.

The exhibition is now closed, so sorry if you missed it! You can still go here, however, to get an idea of what it was like. Now, of course the Thyssen doesn't allow photography. But their online image collection is quite extensive. Thank you, Thyssen.

Swaying Dancer (Dancer in Green), Edgar Degas
St. Catherine of Alexandria, Caravaggio
Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni, Domenico Ghirlandaio
La Piazza di San Marco in Venice, Canaletto
Dream caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking up, Salvador DalĂ­
Cosimo de Medici in Armor, Bronzino
The Voices, Gustave Moureau 

And then my darling Kimber left me. But she left me for what I'm sure was one of the most amazing experiences of her life - six weeks in Paris! - and so it was a bittersweet goodbye. Thank you for coming to see me, darling, I look forward to it happening many more times :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kimber in Madrid, Part II

The Changing of the Guard. It happens every Wednesday from 11am to 2pm (except in July, August, and September), and it includes a total of 27 guards wearing gala uniforms and six horses. Every first Wednesday of the month there is an extra special ceremony, though since Kimber came at the very end of June, we didn't get to see it, but I'm sure it's spectacular. I hear they have carriages and cannons!

Hi! We're standing at the very top of the Catedral de la Almudena, or Almudena Cathedral, Almudena being the name of the Virgin to whom the church is dedicated. It is directly across from the Royal Palace of Madrid and, in 2004, it held the marriage between Felipe, Prince of Asturias and Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, now known as Letizia, Princess of Asturias. See? We get Royal Weddings, too.

If you know anything about Spanish history, then you probably know that Madrid wasn't always Spain's capital. The seat of state was moved from Toledo to Madrid in 1561, and, atypically for a Catholic country, it had no Cathedral, nor did it until 1993, when the Almudena was consecrated by Pope John Paul II. Also, it's the only Spanish Cathedral to ever be consecrated by a Pope. Fancy, huh?

Now, I want you to keep something in mind. This is what the Cathedral looks like on the outside:

It looks typical. Dignified, grandiose, and old. Now, this is what it looks line on the inside:

It's like Cathedral culture shock. "What? You're Gothic but also... brightly colorful?" Look at those beehive stained-glass windows. Gawgeous.

This is the crypt, which you find by going around the building and entering through the back.

We also went into the Royal Palace but, again, no photography is allowed. Have I mentioned how annoying I find this? Here's a picture from the interwebs of the Royal Chapel. Enjoy.