A Must See In Madrid

One of the musts while in Madrid for WYD is to go to the Prado. Even if you are not an art lover or even if you have never been to an art gallery this museum is a must because it a treasure house of great religious masters. Don’t miss this opportunity.The article below from the WYD site gives you an overview of the art and the times when you can get in for free.

Prado Museum receives Caravaggio’s The Deposition from the Vatican Museums for World Youth Day

Madrid, July 21, 2011 – This morning, an official presentation was made of the thematic exhibition “The Word Made Image – Paintings of Christ in the Prado Museum”, organized on the occasion of World Youth Day (WYD) and featuring thirteen masterpieces from the Prado Museum that show different scenes from the life of Christ. The collection will be joined by Caravaggio’s The Deposition, a jewel of the Vatican Museums, which will be on display for the first time in Spain.

The event was presided by the Spanish Minister of Culture, Ángeles González Sinde, who expressed her hope that “this exhibition contributes to the success of World Youth Day, as it offers a unique opportunity to see a real baroque jewel like the Caravaggio piece, along with the great masterpieces of Fra Angelico, El Greco, and Velázquez on the iconography of Christ.”

Likewise, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Prado Museum, Plácido Arango, congratulated all involved for their work in obtaining “this beautiful result.”

El Descendimiento.Caravaggio

Coming to know Christ through beauty

Through this selection of paintings, the exhibition aims at offering a visual display of some of the metaphorical descriptions that Christ used to refer to Himself, or that are attributed to Him in the Gospels (The Good Shepherd, The Light of the World, The Way, Truth, and the Life, as well as Agnus Dei or Salvatoris Mundi), from the hands of great artists who worked to turn these words into images, resulting in an authentic “visual theology”.

The Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, thanked the Prado Museum, which has been added to the Cultural Program for World Youth Day, and added: “I am sure that tens of thousands of young people will be able to not only enjoy the aesthetic beauty of these images of Christ on display by the Prado, but many of them will also have a profound experience of faith.”

Cristo Crucificado. Velázquez

The best of the Spanish school

The display, which features a total of fourteen works, offers a highlight of the best schools of painting represented in the Prado Museum: first, the Spanish school with painters such as Velazquez, El Greco, Ribera, Zurbaran, Murillo, Juan de Juanes, or the author of the Romanic mural paintings in the Church of Vera Cruz Maderuelo (Segovia).

These are joined by the Flemish school, offering a representation from the time of its creation by Van der Weyden and its culmination, by Rubens. One cannot overlook the presence of the Italian school, with artists such as Fra Angelico, and within it the Venetian school in particular, with Sebastiano del Piombo, Tintoretto, and Veronese.

The selection is completed with a unique piece of relief: The Deposition by Caravaggio, the jewel of the Vatican Museums on its first visit to Spain thanks to the program “The Guest Work”, sponsored by the Friends of the Prado Museum.

(For more information, see attached List of Works from the display)

To take better advantage of this display

The exhibition will be indicated in the halls with explanatory signs in Spanish and English (identifiable by the WYD logo), which will comment on the work from an artistic, iconographic, and religious standpoint. This information will be complemented in a free brochure and a pocket guide available in two editions (English and Spanish).

In addition, visitors will have other instructional aids such as audio guides and guided tours. The display can also be visited through the presentation of an interactive version on the museum’s website (www.museodelprado.es).

From August 16 to 21, museum admission is free for all pilgrims who present their WYD accreditation at the entrance. In addition, the museum will open the two main floors of their collection on the nights of August 16, 17, and 18 from 8:30 pm to 12 midnight.

All activities related to the display “The Word Made Image”, including the various instructional aids designed to offer a better understanding of it, are sponsored by World Youth Day.

This exhibition at the Prado Museum is one of the 300 activities that form a part of the World Youth Day Cultural Program. More specifically, it is one of three major art exhibitions, along with the Thyssen Museum exhibition “Encounters” and the contemporary art exhibition “Art + Faith” in the Pons Foundation.

Basic Information on “The Word Made Image – Paintings of Christ in the Prado Museum”:

• Where:

Prado Museum (C/Ruiz de Alarcón, 24)

• When: July 21 to September 18 (9 am – 8 pm). Closed Mondays.

Special night hours: August 16, 17, and 18: 8:30 pm to 12 am.

• Free guided tours: August: Tuesday through Friday at 11:30 am and 4:30 pm. From Tuesday, August 16 to August 21: 10 am, 12 pm and 4:30 pm.

• Languages: explanatory signs, free brochures, and a pocket guide (5 €) in Spanish and English.

• Free admission for registered WYD pilgrims, August 16 to 21.

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