Our Top Choice of Madrid Inspirational Museums
As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is the political, economic and cultural centre of Spain. A bustling and energetic metropolis, it is full of inspiring museums and the perfect place to get a taste of that special "madrileño" spirit.
CaixaForum Madrid is located in a nineteenth century power station which was re-designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & Meuron in a contemporary and avant-garde way. It is laid out in a large square in which a spectacular 24-meter-high vertical garden, the work of Patrick Blanc, is planted with 15,000 plants of 250 different species.
Prado National Museum is one of the world’s most important museums and its massive collection is a testament to the centuries of devoted acquisition by the Spanish monarchy and the church. This neo-classical building, located on one of Madrid’s most attractive street is home to more than 20,000 works of art of which only around 1300 can be displayed at any one time.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum fabulous collection of paintings are housed in the 19th century Palacio de Villahermosa in the “Art Triangle”, which was completely remodelled by Rafael Moneo specifically to be a home to nearly 800 paintings. Begun in 1920, the collection contains fine examples of Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools.
Reina Sofia Museum & Art Centre, also in the "Art Triangle" and formerly the San Carlos hospital, the Reina Sofia was remodelled in the 1980s, becoming the principle location in Madrid for national and international exhibitions. The permanent collection is almost exclusively of 20th century Spanish art, with works by many of the most important artists, including Picasso’s Guernica.
The Sorolla Museum was originally the artist's house and was converted into a museum after the death of his widow. It mostly contains Sorolla’s and his family works and is a mixture of post-impressionist and Spanish school art. The house has been preserved in its original state; the ground floor preserved to give the visitor a feel of Sorolla’s life, while the upper floor has been converted into a gallery.
San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Art is the oldest art institute in Madrid.In addition to paintings of the Spanish school (Juan de Herera, Zurbaran, Goya, etc), it houses over 1,400 paintings, 600 sculptures and 15,000 drawings, as well as an excellent collection of decorative arts objects including tapestries, silverware, ceramics, porcelain, clocks, furniture and medals.
The Cerralbo Museum is a classical style Palace located in the heart of Madrid houses the artistic collections gathered in his lifetime by the XVII Marquis of Cerralbo. The museum is made up of over 50,000 objects, including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, glass, tapestry, furniture, coins, medals, drawings, stamps, clocks, weapons, armour and archaeological objects.
The National Museum of Decorative Arts follows the example of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, it was intended to be a place for the education of artisans, craftsmen, artists and connoisseurs of the industrial arts. It illustrates the evolution of industrial or "minor arts", mostly Spanish, including furniture, ceramics, glass, and textiles particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Inspired? Our selection of college and school trips to Madrid are suitable for Art & Design and Spanish Language students as well as a general Cultural & Enrichment tour.
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