Didem Doğan

Madrid’s ‘Museums Island’: Thyssen Bornemisza

Located at the ‘Prado Walk’ with the other two museums, Prado and Arte Reina Sofia, Thyssen Bornemisza Museum has a large collection from 13th century to the 20th century painting; a personal collection of Thyssen family. As you begin your visit you’ll see first the paintings with religious themes. Here we see the Evangelists one by one: San Mateo, San Marcos, San Lucas, San Juan… We are passing to the hall of Portraits, the two of them that we see in the pictures, one that calls our attention due to the strange face: Portrait of a lady, Hans Balding Grien, 16th century. There has been an ongoing discussion on who that lady might be and they decided that it’s a representative woman figure. The other portrait is the ‘Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni’, painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the 15th century. It’s a perfect example of the portraits made in Florence, the upper side of the body viewed from the profile, at the back we see personal belongings and an epigram. When you think of today’s selfies that people take and delete and take again with hundreds of visual effects you realize how real the 15th portrait looks… At the other hall ‘The West Façade of the Church of Saint Mary in Utrecht’, by Pieter Jansz. Saenredam. The Dutch painter from 17th century shows us the façade of the church in Utrecht, there’s something different about the painting; Saenredam, an architect and a painter makes an innovation in painting, he first calculates the building in real space, he then draws it in the studio… And finally the 20th century North American painting where I see the works of one of my favorite painters: Edward Hopper. ‘Dead Tree and Side of Lombard House, dating 1931’, the other with the boat is ‘The "Martha McKeen" of Wellfleet, dating 1944. There’s always this prominent theme of loneliness in his paintings but also a certain light that comes out of his works and promises you ‘freedom’. My favorite one, the woman in the hotel room, a part of the Thyssen collection, is currently at another exhibition in Barcelona.