This year we had time to know each other, to loaf and play, to wine and eat, to see the bull-fights in the afternoon and Barcelona’s gaudy Barrio Chino at night; time to sense the colours, the olive green of the hills, the incomparable blues of the Mediterranean in the spring, and the wondrous, bleak, grey-white skies above Madrid; time too to know the Spanish peasant and worker and fisherman, men of great dignity and guts and integrity despite their miserable, half-starved lives ; and at the Prado and Toledo just a little time for Greco, whose sweeping form and colour all but smote us down and made all the Renaissance painting we had seen in Italy, even the da Vincis, Raphaels, Titians, Botticellis, seem pale and anaemic.

-William H. Shirer, Berlin Diary: The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent, 1934-1941 (1941)

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