Friday, October 14, 2022

Headlines ripped from art

                             Used with permission of the Museo Nacional del Prado

     MADRID — At home, a Chicago police press pass and a smile won’t get you anywhere you can’t go with a smile alone. But I keep my media credentials current anyway, for a reason that would send Mike Royko spinning in his grave: free admission to European museums.
     The low position of the fourth estate in the U.S. — battered by a would-be dictator who doesn’t appreciate fact-obsessed busybodies contradicting his delusions — hardly need be mentioned.
     And honestly, I’m not sure whether the free pass means Europeans respect journalists more, or merely pity them. The unemployed also get into museums free.
      Museo Nacional del Prado
     If you’re wondering how I found myself in Spain, that’s easy: My wife wanted to go, and as scant as my desire was — considering the time, expense and effort involved — I wanted to be the guy who wouldn’t go to Spain even less. Turns out, there’s a lot of cool stuff there. Barcelona is silly with architecture by their wild genius, Antoni Gaudi. (“EAT YOUR HEART OUT!” I tweeted to our architecture critic Lee Bey.)
     And Madrid has the Prado, the national art museum. In its collection is Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights,” which Americans typically glimpse in a 2-square-inch sliver in a textbook. I spent 20 minutes gawping at its full-size wonder, where humanity dooms itself to hell, as far as I can tell, for the sin of eating berries with birds. Stepping into a gallery, I confronted a more colorful version of the “Mona Lisa.” You might know already, but it came as a shock to me. There are others?

To continue reading, click here.


  1. I was aware on Callisto as one of he moons of Jupiter, but not as a star in Ursa Major.
    The myth was a popular subject for the old masters for fairly obvious reasons. Interesting how their take on feminine beauty differs from the modern one. They would have considered the modern naked lady underfed.
    As the tale goes Callisto concieved her son from being raped by Jupiter in the assumed form of a woman. Interesting how that works biologicaly,
    Your observation on Guernica is chilling.
    I liked Spain, but found Italy and the Italians more welcoming.

  2. So. Did you have dinner in a ''Clean, Well-lighted Place?"


    1. Yes, in fact the same restaurant at the end of "The Sun Also Rises." The same thing Jake Barnes orders, the suckling pig. I skipped the bottles of rojas though.


Comments are vetted and posted at the discretion of the proprietor.