Welcome to Destination SpainBeauty of Spain - Art


Spain is home to some of the greatest art galleries and museums in the world. They are so numerous that only some of them can be mentioned here.

The most famous is the Prado in Madrid, begun in 1785 and completed in 1830. It focuses on the Spanish masters, particularly Goya, El Greco, Velazquez, Ribera, Zurbanan, Murillo. Other works on display include those of Durer, Bosch, Tintoretto, Rubens, Titian and Cranach.

The great masterpiece of Velazquez (born in Seville in 1599), ‘Las Meninas’, or The Royal Family, takes pride of place in the Prado.

Goya’s series of 65 etchings, ‘The Disasters of War’, depict in graphic horror scenes of the Napoleonic Wars when Napoleon invaded Spain in 1801, deposing King Ferdinand VII. The French were driven out in 1814. Goya was Principal Painter to the King and he obviously did not like his employer as he portrayed the Royal family as brutish, moronic and arrogant!

Two other museums fall within Madrid’s Golden Triangle: the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum containing Flemish works to modern paintings, and the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum displaying the works of 20th Century artists, including Juan Gris, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso.

And talking of one of Spain’s favourite sons, the Picasso Museum in Barcelona is the city’s top attraction, while Malaga, Picasso’s birthplace, boasts proudly of having the most impressive collection of his work in all the world.

In 1997 Frank Gehry put the industrial port city of Bilbao on the cultural map of Spain with his architectural masterpiece, the Guggenheim Museum. This is the largest gallery in the world and appears to be sculpted from limestone, glass and titanium which shimmers in the sunshine. It caters to 20th century artists such as Picasso, Braque and Miro. The very building is a work of art.

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