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Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

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39 reviews of Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Thyseen-Bornemisza Museum


I continue on my walk down Paseo del Prado towards Atocha square and at building number 8 I stumble upon the Villaherma Palace, one of the most important in Madrid. Since 1992 it has been the headquarters of one of the most important art collection in Spain and I would dare to say the world as well, the Tyseen-Bornemisza Museum.

The building’s origins go back to the 17th century when Spain’s elite lived in this area, although the buildings actual state corresponds more with the beginning of the 19th century. It’s the work of the architect Antonio Lopez Aguado, who was a disciple of Juan De Villanueva, who crafted the Prado Museum, not too far down the street. As his name indicates, D. Juan Pablo de Aragon-Azlor, the 11th Duke of Villahermosa and descendent of Juan II of Aragon, acquired the Casa de Atri in 1777 from its previous tenant, the widowed Duchess of Atri. The gardens used to reach the building where the current Banco de Espana (Bank of Spain) stands.

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Extensive and beautiful

The Thyssen-Bornemisza is part of Madrid's "Art Triangle" (along with the Prado and Reina Sofia) and has an interesting and varied collection that's worth a visit. It's known for having "major works by minor artists and minor works by major artists," a description that's perfectly apt. Yes, it was works by the Impressionists and Italian masters, but the real gold are the lesser-known pieces, especially those of the Fauvists and Dutch/Flemish school. I was surprised gorgeous and technically-masterful works by artists I'd never heard of before.

I will warn you that the collection is enormous...it spans millenia and you could spend several hours exploring. In fact, many people are already tired by the time they reach the more recognizable sections (the Impressionist, for example). So, pace yourself!

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Especially recommended

The Thyssen’s collection is the most complete in terms of movements and eras represented. After exploring the galleries, I must say that the museum, through Carmen Cervera, has a clear preference for Spanish art. However, you can find works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Dalí, Rubens, Van Eyck, Canaletto and Caravaggio, and the temporary exhibits showcase works by Duero, Modigliani, Matisse, Antonio López, and Marc Chagall. On the museum’s website, you can organize a route for your visit by floor or by “timeline” and also purchase tickets, which can save you some waiting time. This is especially recommended

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The third museum of Madrid


The Thyssen-Bornemisza is part of the famous "triangle of art" of Madrid, so that it represents one of the fundamental places for any fan. It is an art gallery with more than a thousand works, many of them coming from the huge private collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza family.

In 1993, the Spanish government decided to buy it so that all citizens could enjoy these wonders. A small part of these works is located in the Museo Nacional de Arte de Catalunya in Barcelona, but the main headquarters of the museum in the Villahermosa Palace, in Paseo del Prado.

The oldest pieces are of Gothic art of the 12th century and the most recent are of the modern art of the 20th century. In particular, one can find works of the Renaissance, Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, Romanticism and 19th and 20th century art until Pop Art. The 19th century North American painting section is unique in Europe, while the one on Impressionism, Fauvism, German Expressionism and 20th century experimental avant-garde are the greatest ones in Spain.

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