Copying at Museo del Prado
Copying at Prado was truly the best experiences through out my trip in 2008. I was allowed to paint from Tuesday to Thursday from opening time to closing time, Friday half day. I could go whenever I want. Of course, I took an advantage of seeing great paintings in the museum every time I was in. I visited other “Copista” working on other paintings to copy.
When I stood in front of painting by Velázquez, I was very excited that I became one of many artists in the past trying to learn from him. Though it was not as easy as just “copying” painting. I certainly had to adjust my palette to close to what was available back then and trying to paint in his mannerism. Also I needed to learn about art supplies in Spain as well. Stretcher bars for canvas is made differently, asking canvas to buy by a meter..etc, I needed to force myself to see the whole painting from corner to corner. I encountered new discoveries in the painting I thought I knew.
At the last day of painting “Los Borrachos”, I knew I came to paint this particular painting to Spain.
For more information, please see the article of American Artist Magazine
THE PROCESS TO GET A PERMISSION
1. VISIT COPY OFFICE AT PRADO.
You need to obtain the application form and ask for the list of documents you need to get permission to copy painting.
(A) A Letter from the embassy - I set up an appointment at Embassy and had a interview to ask them write a introductory letter to Prado.
(B) 2 letters of recommendation from institution (could be a recommendation letter from teacher.)
(C) Two passport size picture.
2. PAY YOUR FEES.
There are two fees. First you pay for 1 year permission fee. When you obtain permission, you will pay per painting you are going to copy.
3. CHOOSE THE PAINTING.
Once you get your permission, you will discuss with officer from copy office which one you want and can copy. There are certain limitation to choose painting. There are certain paintings which are not allowed to copy.(tend to be very famous paintings.) Once you decide it, you pay the fee, then you can start! (These info is from 2008.)