Museums not to be missed in Spain
Madrid's golden trio
When talking about art, Spain is a destination not to be missed. At its museums you will find some of the world's best collections, and you can enjoy works by the great masters and masterpieces of universal painting. Starting with the Prado and moving on to the Guggenheim Bilbao, here we present the museums that are not to be missed if you come to Spain.
In the Spanish capital, the Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Reina Sofía National Museum give you the chance to explore the history of universal painting through the works of the great masters. Located very close to one another, in the very centre of the city, these three galleries comprise a truly unique cultural itinerary: the “Paseo del Arte” (Art Avenue) in Madrid.
Your visit should, of course, start with the Prado National Museum. This is one of the world's most important art galleries, and its rooms are home to the best of the Spanish, Italian and Flemish schools, amongst other collections. Take your time, because here you will find the most important paintings by vital artists such as Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, El Bosco, Tiziano, Tintoretto, Rafael, Rubens and Rembrandt. Next, head for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Its collection includes works from early 13th-century painting through to German Expressionism, with examples of Impressionism, the English school and the European and American avant-garde, with valuable pieces by their maximum exponents: Durero, Van Dyck, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, Kandinsky…
You have yet to visit the Reina Sofía National Art Centre. It has recently been extended and is now one of Europe's largest. Here you will find Picasso's Guernica, a universal work, along with an outstanding collection of contemporary Spanish art, including pieces by Miró, Dalí, Chillida and Tàpies, amongst others.
The genius of Picasso and Dalí
The work of these two Spanish artists revolutionised 20th-century art. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona will let you examine the work of this Cubist master in depth, and discover his evolution. The pieces on display will let you discover his formative years, the different stages of his artistic production, and his work as engraver and ceramicist. Science and Charity, Harlequin and the Maids of Honour series are some of the emblematic canvasses by Pablo Picasso that you can see at the museum. If you want to enjoy the surrealist world of Salvador Dalí, then make for the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, in the province of Girona. Situated 139 kilometres from the city of Barcelona, a visit to the museum is like a game as you try and distinguish the hidden images to be found within the creations on display.
Tribute to contemporary art
A trip to the famous Guggenheim Bilbao Museum is worthwhile just to see the building designed by prestigious architect Frank Gehry. This museum in northern Spain has a wide range of avant-garde and contemporary art in its permanent collection. It features outstanding international artists, and the presentation of works, so well integrated into the museum building, is stunning. If you like modern art and are on the Mediterranean coast, then be sure to visit the IVAM Museum in Valencia: its exhibition programme tends to focus on the classical avant-garde movements developed up to the 1960s.
The important role played by these places within the Spanish museum panorama is clear, and this can be seen in their attendance figures. Nevertheless, there is a broad array on offer, not only in fine art, but also in science, archaeology, maritime, sculpture museums etc. The www.spain.info search engine will help you find information on more than 400 different collections. The hardest thing will be choosing!
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