The Prado National Museum

THE PRADO NATIONAL MUSEUM

Pablo Jiménez Díaz

Magazine issue: 
#4 2015 (49)

Any museum, especially a national museum, is also a history book. We enter it to contemplate the individual works it holds: to enjoy and, to the degree we can, understand them individually. But a museum also has its own melody in addition to the individual notes, and to comprehend that single entity, composed from objects that are often widely divergent, is to understand a piece of history. Not only, not even mainly, about the artists' history but rather of the people who looked at them, then organized and arranged the works. The museum's sensibility comes into play in that history, and with that the circumstances surrounding it, the society, its government and political elements, its faith and beliefs, and perhaps also the ways in which those beliefs have changed. The impulse behind collecting and the forms of displaying each period are children of their time and, as such, museums bring that time-stamp with them.

THE PRADO NATIONAL MUSEUM

Any museum, especially a national museum, is also a history book. We enter it to contemplate the individual works it holds: to enjoy and, to the degree we can, understand them individually. But a museum also has its own melody in addition to the individual notes, and to comprehend that single entity, composed from objects that are often widely divergent, is to understand a piece of history. Not only, not even mainly, about the artists' history but rather of the people who looked at them, then organized and arranged the works.

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