14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The Prado Museum bookstore has an abundance of books and products, but since I travel light, at best I bought a few postcards. But I had to buy this book on Amazon, as the Prado collection is stunning.
The author devotes close to 100 pages to the Prado's history. More than a biography of a museum, however, the reader learns about the history of the region, with all this represents. When I was visiting the Prado (and I went twice), I don't recall anything that gave me a context for understanding the museum, its place in Spanish history, or how the art was acquired. Most of those questions are answered through this book. Heck, the author even includes a few architectural drawings!
The book includes over 500 photographs of paintings, including The Garden of Delights; The Crowning with Thorns; Saint Sebastian; David, Victorious over Goliath; Idyll; The Third of May, 1808, at Madrid; and of course, Las Meninas. The photographs are decent, but they don't have the 'wow' factor one can find in many art books. Each page also includes the painter, year, and dimensions, but no other descriptive text. Thus, if you want to learn more about a painting you see, you'll need to read through the book to see if its covered, or do some research on your own.
Still, the book took me straight back to Madrid, and short of being able to go yourself, this is a good introduction to the art and history of the Prado. Amazon, add a 'Look Inside the Book' in order to give prospective buyers a peak.