Thursday, April 16
Did laundry again. It’s a luxury to have a little laundry room and a line to hang my jeans and tee-shirts on to dry, all to myself. En route to Real Academy Belle Arte I saw a window display of trim that reminded me of the sleeves I am so enamored of.
Arrived at Real Academy Belle Arte and turned left at Lucifer falling, shades of Paradise Lost,
past a really nice still life of lemons
and made a beeline to the Knight’s Dream. Sleeping man in armor and a glowing angel are all very well, but I am riveted by the table covered with allegorical objects; coins and jewels, weapons and skulls, and books. I’m fond of narratives in art.
Thought I’d draw the pistol, but instead ended up looking at the skull on the book. Stood in front of it, and made my marks on the toned paper of the sketchbook, all the while listening to Forgery of Venus.
I’ve read this novel but it was even better listening to here. When the protagonist names streets in Paris and Madrid, I see them clearly. Best of all, when he talks about his first time seeing Velásquez, recognition shivered down my spine even though he talks about it from the perspective of an embittered artist and I am whatever the opposite of that is. Grateful, maybe.
From the skull on the book, I went in search of what I am now thinking of as my favorite sleeve , especially the white kid glove the man hold in one gloved hand. More fun drawing , this time with conté sticks.
I’ve done several little drawings, my favorite way to report on a trip via postcard, but for one reason or another, I’ve been disappointed in them. They looked off, clumsy. Today, for some reason, I could just look and draw, instead of examine and judge. And though objectively it’s unlikely that these drawings are any better, I am pleased with them.
I am at the point I reach on every European trip when I am glutted on pastry, cheese, and ham, and desperate for vegetables. Yesterday it occurred to me to look up vegetarian restaurants on Tripadvisor and make a list. There are the four in this part of town. Walked to Artemisia. It was intimate, bustling and smelled great. Every table was taken, but I only waited five minutes for one to open up. I ordered the menu del dia and read Eloisa James’ Four Nights with the Duke while I laid waste to it; a bowl of minestrone, their house lasagna, and a slice of orange-scented chocolate cake. Fabulous. Generous portions. I couldn’t finish the lasagna and took the cake para llevar. 11 euros. Woot!
Stopped by Typography to buy gifts for my family. Back early-ish , 4:30, but I am ready for an early day.
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