September 29

In Madrid at Mueseo del Prado

I spent most of the day inside today. It’s most unusual for me I realised. A normal day is usually at least six hours in the open air. Before I joined the Camino it was usually 24 hours outside because I was camping. 

There were an amazing selection of paintings but I’m going to select two that struck me with the most force. The first is by Rogier Van Weyden 

The painting is huge. The figures are life size. The skin tones are amazing. The expression on faces has been captured so beautifully. Painted 1435. I doubt you can capture a tenth of the detail you see in real life. 

The other one is Les Meunias by Velazquez 

You can see Velazquez himself on the left with a palette and brush and he is looking at the couple he is painting whose reflections are in the mirror on the wall behind! What a clever composition. The way he uses the light is so skilful. 

I could select any number more. It was fascinating. I was also struck by the size of some of the pictures. They were huge – designed to be hung in churches or on huge palace walls. 

In the evening I went to see some real flamenco. 

The rhythms were so complex. 

I’m sorry but the evening temperature here is a balmy 24°C 

I have walked 8km today!

There is more art to see tomorrow!