Today is the day I had been waiting for this whole trip! I finally got to see the paintings I have been studying for the past three months. The first thing we did today was head over to Museo del Prado and started the my study. I worked my way to the room that contained the Black Paintings, not stopping anywhere else so I could have as much time as possible to study my main man, Frank Goya. It was nice going into the room knowing some background information. I knew that the paintings were written at the end of Goya's life, he had gone deaf due to a debilitating illness, and he had been exiled to a house on the outskirts of Madrid called La Quinta del Sordo (House of the Deaf Man), where he painted the paintings straight onto the walls. I found out from a plaque on the wall that the paintings were carefully transferred from his walls to canvas and were donated to Museo del Prado in 1881. I have no idea how this process works, but it I'm sure glad they figured it out. I would love to go into detail about all of the paintings and the symbolism behind them, but you probably don't care that much about it, so I'll save that for my research paper. Getting to see the collection in person was a very surreal experience. I was kind of angry about having to wake up, but as soon as I stepped in the room and saw Goya's masterpieces, I was like a kid in a candy store. The emotion in the faces of the subjects of the paintings were so clear, something that separates Goya from artists before him and even during his time. The reason the emotions were so clear is because they were his actual emotions and came from his mind. The subject matter is extremely dark. I was actually depressed once I left the museum because of what I had seen. I can understand why his mind was so messed up. He knew that he was dying, he lived by himself and didn't have anyone to come see him, and the world rejected him because he chose to paint what he was actually feeling, not just what people wanted to see. He had a rough life. Needless to say, I spent three hours standing in that wonderful room, and wrote ten pages of notes/sketches. The faces and the details hypnotized me and I could not step away. Never in my life have I been so entranced by something that I lost track of time and had such a desire to learn more about it. I could have spent all day in that room, but my Dad and grandma had already left to go home, and the stragglers were starting to get impatient (and hungry). When we finally left, my brain was mush. I felt like a zombie. For one, I had just spent three hours standing on a marble floor in sandals, and two I had been looking into the incredibly dark mind of Francisco Goya. I didn't want to think. I got some ice cream from a street vendor on the way back, and once I got back to the apartment, I laid down on the couch and slept until it was time for lunch. I was filled with joy yet depressed, excited yet exhausted, slightly angry yet fulfilled. It was a wonderful morning and I have been looking forward to it for months now. I hope that one day I will be able to return and see them once again.
Aden and Jorge