29 Sep Madrid’s Museums: The Prado and the Art Walk
Madrid houses some of the best national collections displayed on over 50 museums and any art lover can spend few days easily enjoying them. The Prado museum which recently celebrates its 200 year is exhibiting the collection as its best due to the COVID times. The Prado is located very close to the Reina Sofia Modern Art Museum that extended their galleries to a connected new building, a library and an Auditorium done by the French architect Jean Nouvel. The patio in the heart of the complex is one of the most beautiful contemporary architecture you can find today in the city.
Besides museums and galleries, Madrid is catching up again with the recent opening of the Four Seasons Hotel in the heart of the city. It was something that Madrid was in need for so long and the time arrived. The hotel is in one of the sides of a whole block in a neoclassic style, rest of the building is a trendy and stylish shopping mall behind Puerta de Sol.
The Prado Museum
Although constructed during the 18th century by Juan de Villanueva as a Natural Science Academy, and after surviving the tumultuous years of the Napoleonic invasion and dominance, this building was in limbo until Fernando VII decided to install there the painting collections of the royal Austrias and Bourbon families. Words are poor to describe the reality of this museum´s vast collection of world-class paintings. Almost all world-renowned artists have their works hanging on the museum´s walls, and while the Spanish presentation is clearly dominant, the Italian and, especially the Flemish schools, are of such high quality that the museum continues to be a world reference for art lovers. With the incorporation of part of the soil of the Monastery, the Prado Museum increased considerably its exposition capacity and finally bring to light the legendary collection in the storage of this universal museum.
Housed in an elegant neoclassical building of the last decades of the 18th century, and magnificently reformed by Rafael Moneo, this important museum displays the collection of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza that was acquired by the Spain government. With over 800 works, the collection represents an impressive review of the History of Art, from the primitive to north American hyper-realism, passing for German and French impressionism. The museum doubled its exposition space with the inclusion of an adjacent building that will house the collection of the Baroness. A museum of Renaissance proportions that will provide a perfect complement to the Prado, which is just in front, on the other side of the Neptune Fountain and Square.
Reina Sofia National Modern Art Museum
Located in a solid granite building constructed and used as a hospital in the 18th century according to the dictates of Carlos III, this museum provides an exposition of Spanish and European avant-garde works from the end of the 19th century to the present. Of primary importance, as is logical, the works of Spanish artists, some of whom are key figures in the world of modern art: from Picasso and his disturbing “Guernica” to Miro, Dali, Julio Gonzalez and Gargallo. Contemporary artists such as Tapies, Zobel, Chillida, Oteiza and Antonio Lopez Garcia are well represented. In its enormous halls, visitors can expect to find important temporary expositions by artists of international acclaim. As one of the best in Europe in its area, the Reina Sofia is a “must-see” for lovers of modern art.
This is my first Blog about Madrid, The Prado and The Art walk with just three of the most popular museums.
Hope you will enjoy this blog and think to give some time to Madrid on your next visit.
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