Meninas in Madrid


As soon as you tell me is there is a collection of art sculptures in any city, I am immediately on the hunt to find as many as I can can. I hunted for buffalo in Custer, South Dakota, and rounded up as many pigs in Cincinnati as I could.

In Madrid, it was Las Meninas: The Maids of Honour by Velázquez. A collection of 80 ladies in waiting invaded Madrid this summer. You could find them all over the place, like a street museum around every corner.

Las Meninas is a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age.

After spotting so many beautifully decorated sculptures, I was eager to see the painting itself inside the Prado Museum — until we saw that the line to get in snaked around the building and seemed like it might take over an hour just to get in.

So we settled for traipsing around the city, snapping pictures of these beautiful ladies.

I’m not sure I can pick a favorite. I may be able to narrow it down to a dozen, but luckily — I don’t have to. If only I’d managed to find them all!

What about you? Which of these are your favorites?


22 responses to “Meninas in Madrid

  1. I love public art and these are spectacular. Pity you couldn’t get inside to see the original but this mission is wonderfully photographed. Madrid is calling

  2. I also love “collecting” public art especially when there is a theme. In Asheville, there are 6 pig installations as well – all focused on different themes of veganism or animal agriculture. Pretty awesome – I found all but one! 🙂

  3. Very interesting variety of sculptures! I love photographing interesting and colorful finds in different cities and I would have loved to have seen these in Madrid! Are they only there this summer? I’m usually in Spain every summer and this is the first in 10 years I wasn’t able to go. I would love to see these!

  4. I love this public art display – it’s so fun! I wish it had been there when I went to Madrid a couple years ago. The Prado is just incredible (and there are free hours!). I hope you get a chance to go next time!

  5. I like the green leaf dress myself. I love art collections. We were just in Pompano Beach and, believe it or not, they had a public art display of pompano fish sculptures. Ok, maybe not surprising but they were actually really well done and beautiful.

  6. OMG the sculptures look so adorable! And they all have different “outfit” and posture! Are they only out in the summer? I will need to seek them out next time I’m in Madrid in the summer!

    • I believe it is a temporary exhibit, but they must end up somewhere afterward. I know here in Cincinnati, after all the pigs were displayed downtown, they were auctioned off so you can still find them, but they’re not all in one area anymore. I imagine the Meninas will move inside sometime, too.

  7. I love the Meninas sculptures all over Madrid. Your photos are great, capturing them in different spots all over. The original painting is one of THE iconic Spanish works of art, and it’s so fitting for it to be the subject of a public sculpture initiative. I will make an note to myself that when I go to Madrid, I have to do homework to find out how to skip the line into the Prado.

  8. How fun! It’s like a scavenger hunt to find all of the sculptures throughout the city. I’ve been to quite a few cities in Spain, but sadly never Madrid. The Meninas sculptures are definitely a reason to go — I love how different they all look!

  9. How fun! Hey fwiw, the Prado is a classic, but kind of bored me. I MUCH preferred the Reina Sofia (contemporary art) and even the Thyssen something something (I forget the exact name but it’s a private collection turned smaller public museum).

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