, , , , , ,


Some time ago, on a visit to the Museo del Prado – http://www.museodelprado.es – a girl approached me and asked me, very politely I must say, to answer some questions for a survey. I remember I looked her surprised because I thought that this was the last site  to ask people to answer the survey questions, but she quickly clarified that it was questions about the museum itself, and that the end of it was to try improve what visitors could be considered ” improved “. When I asked about my profession – surprised looking face again – and answered I was museographer, she turned very happy. Was going to have responses from a museum professional, what a coincidence! We sat on a stool in the museum’s lobby and I began to answer questions.



What can be said about Prado Museum? What do I tell? Impossible. What tickets are cheaper or free? Humm!! What should leave it with me at least once in life to follow it myself? We are fortunate to have one of the most important art galleries in the world, which attracts thousands of visitors every year. The building and location are unbeatable, perhaps arguably the Moneo’s project of museum’s enlargement – http://www.museodelprado.es/la-institucion/la-ampliacion/ – . I personally do not like how it fits in relation to the Church of the Jeronimos, but … There is more space, more pieces of art to show being really important to all, I think. In short, I had nothing to say really, excep , thinking about what has always been the main problem of the art museums: the lighting, the light.


Unexpected shadows have always been the enemy of sculpture

The vast majority of art museums worldwide rely lighting their own works to the light of day. They are mostly large museums, which have skylights and glass roofs to sunlight illuminate the rooms and lounges. The tables are lit naturally, but also has the support of artificial light (also it gets dark in museums. From my humble point of view, and that is the only downside that I put in the survey to the Prado Museum, is that there are areas of very poorly lit museum. You go from bright light to darkness or light almost entirely artificial in ten steps. That can not be , but it is what it is. It can not be that the shadows are part of a sculpture, for example. In the expansion draft Moneo the problem is not so obvious. We understand that is what it is , but we think it can improve a lot. Other things like the artificial light that points to the picture, incorporating a sun lie to the composition, now that’s a problem.

Exposición "Goya en tiempos de guerra" /11-04-08/fotos:Enrique Cidonc

This is an example of yellow artificial light permeates the painting

Art is perception, its emotion. The paintings, thinking from the point of view of the observer, is composed of three elements: the canvas, frame and light. Of these three elements, leaving aside the canvas, light is everything. For the artist too. The artists were and are obsessed, as is quite logical, with the light of the exhibition of his work. Painters and sculptors were and are very jealous with the lighting of the exhibition spaces. In many cases there to put up with what is. If you want to exhibit no other. And not so much because of the intensity of white light, sun light on the painting or sculpture, is because not all of the tables should be illuminated in the same way. Sorolla wanted plenty of sunlight , only the sun would illuminate his work. Goya painted his black paintings with the help of candles placed on the brim of his hat and so created his work in the “dark” period of his life. A Saturn does not look good with a bath of sunlight and Goya did not like it either for sure. This obsession of museums and galleries in the sunlight, with no access to natural light, to generate white light environments and cold sometimes turns against them. The work must have a specific lighting, the whole work of the same period of the artist must have a specific light for you. For sculpture exposure, shadows are not part of the work, are a mistake unless the artist wants them to incorporate into their work .


Need light?

Being our responsibility to show the reality as it is, we entrust this delicate area lighting directors movies or professional photographers who spend most of their lives with a photometer around his neck. They relate well with light moment with plastic, playing the artist perspective. Professionals are also artificial light for art, but I think they are very few and live much further north. One day walking through Copenhagen, the Gallery entered Nasui and see that the light is not perceived as one might expect of a place without windows, attention fell directly on the work in an extremely natural . When looking at the ceiling we understood perfectly. The Nordics, in addition to designing some very cool furniture , also know how to create suitable environments from light, especially because they have a reverential worship of aesthetic perception . Moreover, they have no choice, in these latitudes the sunlight is a scarce commodity .


Nasui Gallery in Copenhagen – http://www.cosminnasui.com/

With Picasso , and more, click in bone. An example: If colgáramos “Guernica ” a totally dark room, illuminating the giant canvas only with the support of a bulb type “Spain 40’s ” hanging from a black twisted cable of 50cm from the ceiling and swing by, does the effect would produce the observer would be the same as that which we perceive in the Reina Sofia ? Would you like to Picasso that dramatic effect on your picture? Would not it be interesting that, while not affecting the safety of the work, we can enjoy these effects in certain types of work? Believe it would be an added value to strengthen, as in this case, the dramatic impact you have. Do the same to see a picture of Cézanne hung in the Musée d’Orsay – http://www.musee-orsay.fr/es – to see it hanging on the wall of his study? Do the same to see a picture of Van Gogh saw the light of Provence to see it with the light of Amsterdam – http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/- ? Why ask? Just thinking and thinking… The light … The light …


Our proposal to The Guernica