Considered an important landmark from Madrid's rich art history, the Museo Nacional del Prado exhibits paintings by Goya, ... More
Considered an important landmark from Madrid's rich art history, the Museo Nacional del Prado exhibits paintings by Goya, Velázquez, Murillo, Zurbarán, El Greco, Ribera, Titian, Boticelli, Tintoretto, El Bosco, Rubens, Van Dyck, Poussin and Durer. Carlos III commissioned Juan de Villanueva to design this beautiful building, which was converted into an art gallery in 1819. In July of 2005, the Council of Ministers approved an expansion plan which increased the museum's total space by 50 percent, and allowed for 500 more works of the permanent collection to be showcased. On October 30, 2007, the annex opened with a collection of 19th-century Spanish artwork which enabled the Prado to reclaim its glory as a crown jewel of Europe. Come for the art; stay for the architecture.
The Museo del Prado houses one of the finest art collections in all of Europe, with wonderful examples of the best artists of Spain: Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, Goya, and many others of the highest caliber. The museum itself is elegant and tranquil, and, when I was there, nothing was so crowded that one had to fight to see it. The room housing Velazquez's "Las meninas" is perfectly lit to show the huge painting at its best. It is breathtaking.
Great Museum. Superb art.
If there's a long line outside, you can go visit some of the smaller museums, like the Naval or Millitary museums around the corner, and then come back and the line could be shorter.
Being one of the most important museums of Fine Arts in the World, it is completely unadviced to try to get the whole of it in just one session.
Only the baroque Spanish painting section (which is, to my opinion, the most valuable of the collections) would take one full day. If you are ever to visit the Prado, don't miss the works of Vel�zquez, Murillo and Ribera. Goya is also worth the while, but more difficult to appreciate.
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