An essential part of any itinerary to discover Spain and, most importantly, the history of its art, the Prado Museum sits proudly at the heart of the Spanish capital. Divided into two groups, students of EAE Business School had the chance to enjoy this cultural trip on the morning of 15th and the afternoon of 23rd January.
This is one of the most keenly awaited visits by both national and international students, all of whom hope to gain a first-hand insight into the masterpieces on display at the Museum. Thanks to this type of cultural trip, EAE Business School gives them access to an expert guide, who explains the evolution of each artist, the story behind the paintings and the context in which they were created.
One of the most visited and important museums in the world, the Prado attracts such great numbers of art enthusiasts thanks to the presence of works of art by Velázquez, El Greco, Goya, Rubens and Bosch, as well as other artists such as Murillo, Ribera and Zurbarán. Due to the huge area that the Museum covers, being the largest in Spain, the guide that accompanied the students limited the tour to most important and representative artworks.
Without a doubt, one of the greatest masterpieces and, as such, the first port of call on the tour, was Las Meninas (The Ladies-in-waiting) the popular name of what is generally considered to be Diego Velázquez greatest work, La Familia de Felipe IV (The Family of Felipe IV). With Princess Margarita of Austria taking centre stage in the painting, surrounded by her servants, the students analysed the composition of the painting. The importance of the light and atmosphere, the portrayal of the artist within the painting, and the mirror in the background with the image of the king and queen posing to have their portrait painted are some of the most highly appreciated details of this jewel in the Museum’s crown.
Another of the oil paintings on the tour, also by Diego Velázquez, was La Rendición de Breda (The Surrender of Breda), also popularly known as Las Lanzas (The Lances). In historical terms, this painting portrays the Dutch Revolt in which the Netherlands fought for independence from Spain. The masterpiece shows the reflection of victory set against the uncertainty of the vanquished Dutchmen, with a scene of dialogue and a marked lack of humiliation.
Another unmissable part of this cultural trip was the work of one of the Great Masters of the history of art, Francisco de Goya, whose work evolved in direct relation to his personal life, from his beginnings in the late Baroque period right through to his illness reflected in one of his most creative yet least attractive paintings. His portrayals of the uprising of 2nd May 1808 gave the students an insight into the history of our country and how Goya achieved such fame with his message. However, the series of works known as the Pinturas Negras (Black Paintings) attracted the greatest attention and astonished contemplation.
“I had never been to the Prado Museum and I wanted to see it, as it is one of the most important and renowned museums in Madrid and Spain”, explained María Alejandra, a student on the Master in Human Resources Management at the start of the cultural trip. A keen art enthusiast, she started studying at EAE in the October session, having just arrived from her native Peru.
Also from Peru, we spoke to Verónica and her Ecuadorian classmate Sofía, both taking the Master in Supply Chain Management & Logistics. They believe that these visits are essential for discovering the history, not only of the city that will be their home for this academic year, but of the country as a whole. “Spain, its culture and its history are so enthralling. It is so different to our countries, the complete opposite of Latin America”. Many of the students, also from the Master in Marketing and Commercial Management and the Master in Financial Management, assured us that they would sign up again for future cultural trips.