Madrid, Spain, Day 61-Madrid is a sea of umbrellas, with continual rain throughout the day. The umbrella I had been carrying broke down and Pete hadn’t brought one, so our first business of the day was to obtain umbrellas. After that we walked to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (or just Thyssen). The museum opened at noon. Unbeknownst to us, it was a free admission day at the museum. We waited in a smartly moving queue 2 blocks long and were very damp by the time we made it to the entrance.


Baron Thyssen moved the family’s 1600 paintings to Spain after the city fathers in Lugano, Switzerland refused his application to enlarge the family estate to display the collection. The Baron had married Carmen Cervera, her influence was the deciding factor in the move to Madrid. The Baroness is still very involved and leases her own collection of 429 paintings to the museum. The paintings consist of Old Masters, along with 19th and 20th century Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works (many picked up from desperate American millionaires during the depression).

To the left is a cubist painting by Juan Gris, upper right is a Kandinsky and lower right Max Ernst.

I stayed until closing. They had to pry many of us out, shooing us from gallery to gallery towards the exit. Pete spent the last hour the museum was open at a nearby Starbucks. Two days of art museums was just a bit too much for him, but he was a very good sport and did enjoy many of the artworks.

Top is Chagall, then left to right, Braque, Picasso and Feininger.

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