On our second day in Madrid, the group had the opportunity to visit the Museo Nacional del Prado, one of the largest museums in the world. The building itself is enormous from an outside perspective, only to be dwarfed by the winding hallways, multiple floors, and maze-like art room exhibits.
One of my favorite pieces was entitled, “The Execution of Torrijos and his companions on the Beach at Málaga” (pictured below) by Antonio Gisbert. We weren’t supposed to take pictures, however I used my phone camera without a flash. It struck me initially because the intense nature of the scene depicted and the incredible detail used to paint the men’s faces.
This scene commemorates the execution in December of 1831 for a group of fifty-three British sponsored Spanish liberals who had attempted to put into effect a radical constitution.
One element of the scene that stayed with me was the somber nature of the men waiting to be executed (without a trial) and the way that three of them were holding hands in a display of support for each other as they faced impending death.
Our evening continued as we went to see an excellent ballet and flamenco dancing performance entitled “Carmen” and ate dinner by sampling several types of tapas at the famous Mercado de San Miguel.