Madrid hosts three of the most important art galleries in the world.
The Prado Museum (web) is one of the best art galleries in the world. Touring the Prado is to recap Spain’s history through its painting. The imperial past is present in all of Velázquez’s works, and the great number of Flemish artists are witness to the power of the Spanish Empire at the time. The museum boasts a fantastic location and this district is one of the best areas to stay in Madrid in style. Check out here the best hotels near the Prado museum.
The two most important and best represented artists are Velazquez and Goya. But you will find works by many other Spanish artists; works by El Greco, Italian and Flemish artists, etc. The museum has over 7,000 works, although around 1,700 are on display. Since touring the entire museum could be overwhelming, we recommend the following 10 artworks:
- Las Meninas from Veláquez
- Veláquez’s Las Lanzas (surrender of Breda)
- Goya’s Black Paintings
- Goya’s The Shootings of May 2nd and 3rd
- Las Majas (naked and dressed).
- El Bosco: The Garden of Earthly Delights.
- The Three Graces, from Rubens
- David Defeating Goliath (from Caravaggio)
- Artemis (from Rembrandt)
- The Trinity (by El Greco)
The second of the Great Museums is very close to the Prado. The Thyssen-Bornemisza is one of the most important private art collections in the world. It does not focus on a particular group of artists (such as the Prado with Goya and Velázquez, or the Reina Sofía with Picasso and Dalí) but there are works of great value and it is a tour of the history of first-rate art. Our favorite section is on the first floor, with works ranging from Van Gogh to Renoir. Manet, Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Pizarro, Picasso, Kandisnky, Hopper, and Juan Gris… among others. Simply spectacular.
The Reina Sofía is the third of the iconic museums in Madrid. The museum is located in two very different buildings. An old hospital structure houses the central part of the museum collections. The extension that was built in 2005 was the work of the French architect, Jean Nouvel. The building is impressive, and the space welcomes the temporary exhibitions, the administration area and cinemas, library, etc.
The most important piece of the museum is Picasso’s Guernica. This fundamental work of the Andalusian painter, of enormous dimensions and a tragic content, shows what cannot happen again.
The Museum offers in its collection other pieces of enormous value,including Picasso, Dalí (Girl At The Window, The Great Masturbator) and works by many other artists such as Miró, Braque, Barceló, Chillida or Tapies.