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She is greeted by a coarse-looking giant with colossal strength, intimidating pupils, and a terrifying appearance.

For something this oil on canvas, attributed to the Italian

Vicente Carducho

and with nearly 400 years behind him, is called

Colossal Head.

Well, located on the main staircase of

the Prado Museum,

it is the first of the

23 works

of the center that form a new route through unique places in the

Community of Madrid

, whether through landscapes, characters (aristocratic and from the street ) or even mythological monsters like the one just mentioned.

Not in vain, it decorated the

Staircase of the Jesters

of the

Palacio del Buen Retiro

before scrutinizing visitors to the Prado as soon as they set foot in the most important museum in the country.

And one of the 10 best valued in the world, according to publications such as

Forbes

.

A couple sitting in front of the El Retiro pond.C.

LUCAS ABREU

The route jumps from Carducho to

Velázquez, Goya, Beruete or Fortuny.

From El Retiro to Aranjuez, El Pardo, El Escorial or Boadilla del Monte.

From colossal heads to palaces, churches, monasteries,

gardens or princes on horseback

.

That yes, although the itinerary takes place

within the rooms

of the center, the idea is to go beyond them and approach the places that the pieces represent or for which they were painted through a route through the community.

"This pictorial itinerary that links

history, art and landscape is

a surprising journey from the universal to what is closest to our beloved Madrid," says the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports, Marta Rivera de la Cruz.

'View of the Escorial monastery', painting by Michel-Ange Houasse.

The museum's curators spent months selecting 23 works from the more than

9,000 related to Madrid

present in the art gallery.

"9,399 to be exact, although only 1,290 are exposed," says Arantza Urbina, head of the project and deputy general director of Development and Sustainability of the General Directorate of Tourism.

And he adds: "

Madrid

is positioning itself as

the largest cultural destination in the world

and within this framework we began to develop the idea of ​​creating a cultural and tourist route like this one".

Another artistic look

The circuit does not follow a

chronological order

.

Not even spatial, since it covers four floors (from -1 to 2).

The idea is that everyone, with the route in hand or on their mobile -it is available both physically in the museum and on the Community website- discover the

different pieces

to their liking.

And then move to the related scenarios.

"They function as a gateway to

rediscover the region

under a new artistic gaze," Urbina clarifies.

To do this, the guide includes a map of those currently open to visitors (15 in total).

Courtyard of the Palace of AranjuezSHUTTERSTOCK

Among these, those included in the Landscape of Light stand out -the last of the five UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Madrid-

such

as the Retiro Park, the Botanical Garden,

the Jerónimos Church

or the museum itself.

This quota includes paintings such as

Felipe IV, on horseback, The Botanical Garden from the Paseo del Prado

or María Isabel de Braganza as founder of the Prado Museum.

Room dedicated to Goya in the Prado Museum.M.

OF THE MEADOW

The Royal Palace, for its part, appears both in the form of sculpture (

Dionysus,

bought by

Velázquez in Italy

) and in Goya

's works on the

War of Independence .

There are also references to its predecessor, the Real Alcázar, on which it was built.

To begin with, the first destination of

Las Meninas

was the

office of the king

of this fortress.

Likewise, Velázquez painted

Jester with Books

for her , in which the peak of Maliciosa can be seen in the background.

Interior of the Madrid Botanical Garden.

We jump to another palace, that of

El Pardo,

since based on

Las floreras

or

La Primavera

by Goya, the corresponding tapestry would be made for the dining room of the

Princes of Asturias

.

The same process was followed with

The Washerwomen,

The Blind Hen

and

The San Isidro Prairie,

conceived for the bedrooms.

The route continues with

The Immaculate Conception of Aranjuez

, by

Murillo

, which occupied the

chapel of San Antonio

del Real Sitio, or

View of the Escorial monastery,

by Michel-Ange Houasse.

'The Botanical Garden from the Prado Museum', by Luis Paret y Alcázar.

There are also lesser-known destinations such as the

Palace of Boadilla del Monte

, where Goya

's famous painting of

The Countess of Chinchón ended up.

"It's one of the ones I like the most because it speaks indirectly of the place. In addition, it conveys

a sweetness and beauty

that are unusual in his portraits," concludes Urbina.

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