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A new century in the Prado museum

From Goya to Sorolla, the Display of the Collection Expands with 12 New Galleries & 176 Works

One of Madrid’s leading art institutions has opened 12 new galleries and is exhibiting 176 works – several recently acquired and some never exhibited before – all from the 19th century.  A New Century in the Museo del Prado, represents a key step forward in the Prado’s collections plans known as The Collection: The Second Extension.  On October 6, more than 170 new works were added to the permanent collection and now, for the first time, visitors to the Prado will see an uninterrupted overview of the development of Spanish art from the 12th century Romanesque painting of San Baudelio de Berlanga up through the early 20th century work of Sorolla which runs parallel to the century’s earliest avant-garde movements. Among the 176 paintings, watercolors and sculptures finally on view are several acquired in the last several years: José de Madrazo’s The French Cuirassier acquired this summer; Penitents in the Lower Church at Assisi by José Jiménez Aranda (acquired in 2001), and Large Landscape (Aragón) by Francisco Domingo Marqués (acquired in 2000).  Maria Figueroa as a young girl dressed as a Menina by Joaquín Sorolla, also purchased in 2000, joins the artist’s And they still say fish is expensive!, a masterpiece of social realism and Boys on the Beach, one of the Prado’s most celebrated modern paintings. Today the Museum has the world’s foremost collection of Spanish paintings – some 4,600 – dating from the Middle Ages to the 19th century including outstanding masterpieces by Berruguete, El Greco, Goya, Murillo, Ribera, Sorolla, Velázquez and Zurbarán.  In 2007, an extensive expansion designed by Rafael Moneo increased the museum’s space by 50 percent.  Organized chronologically, the new galleries begin with Goya (the Prado has 140 of his works), Neoclassicism and the Origins of the Museum, followed by Romanticism, Federico de Madrazo, Rosales, Fortuny and Rico and Raimundo de Madrazo There are two rooms with historical paintings and one gallery with landscapes. The final galleries highlight Naturalism, Sorolla and landscapes by Aureliano Beruete, donated by the artist’s family. The Prado Museum is located on Paseo del Prado and is open daily, except Mondays, from 9 AM to 8 PM.  Admission is about $12 or 8 euros.  Visitors under 18 are admitted free of charge.  Students under 25 from non-EU countries pay about $6 or 4 euros. Admission to the Permanent Collection is free Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6 PM to 8 PM and on Sundays from 5 PM to 8 PM.  Go to www.museodelprado.es/en/ For information about Spain, contact the Tourist Office of Spain in New York (212-265-8822); Miami (305-358-1992); Chicago (312-642-1992) or Los Angeles (323-658-7195).