101 masterpieces to enjoy in Madrid
Library at the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
If you're a culture lover and you're coming to Madrid, we suggest 11 themed itineraries taking in some of the key items you can find in the city from the world of art and science. There are 101 masterworks awaiting you in Madrid's museums and libraries.
Science and art go hand in hand more often than it may seem. For example, a painting can include many medical references, while an instrument of measurement like a clock or an astrolabe can have a precision mechanism and a meticulous and artistic design. Coordinated by the History Institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the '101 masterworks: science and art in the museums and libraries of Madrid' project invites us to discover this connection, with around one hundred works that are representative of the historical and scientific heritage of the Madrid Region.
The 101 masterworks displayed in different institutions of the Madrid Region are organised into 11 themed routes: The Faces of Science, The Cosmos, The Human Body, Travel and Communications, Spaces of Knowledge, Measuring the World and Time, Exoticisms, Infrastructure and Urban Planning, Engineering and Technique, Biodiversity, and Book Culture. These routes will take you to many emblematic places, with a host of surprising discoveries and curiosities in store.
A broad selection of items
The catalogue of selected works includes a variety of elements, from paintings and drawings to ceramics, clocks, books and furniture. Some examples are the magnificent Coronelli celestial globe at the Naval Museum or the armillary sphere at the Royal Library in the Monastery of El Escorial , the only one surviving of the two made by Antonio Santucci for Ferdinand I de Medici. You can also see unique paintings such as 'Concert of Birds' by Snyders, at the Prado Museum; 'Spring' by Arcimboldo, at the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts; and 'The Grand Canal from San Vio' by Canaletto, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. There is also room for works such as the large stained glass window in the Collection Room of the Geological and Mining Museum, and the roof at the Delicias Station which currently houses the Railway Museum and an important exhibition of 19th-century iron architecture. Other essential works in this scientific-artistic selection are Leonardo da Vinci's Madrid Codices I and II , kept at the Spanish National Library. All the information on the 101 selected works – their importance, their location on the map, the places they are to be found, etc. – is available on the project's website (www.101obrasmaestras.com). You can also download an e-book with a full guide to the works in Spanish and English.