You may not have heard of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. You may not even have any idea how to say the name, but this museum is a new not-to-miss destination that you will want to make a reservation to visit as you are touring Spain’s capitol city of Madrid. This new art museum takes you back through history, it’s walls adorned with the greatest collection of paintings in the world.
The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a young museum. It was created when the government of Spain offered to purchase the amazing collection of art for $350 million in 1993. They then created the museum out of the Villahermosa Palace of the late 18th century. It took an additional $45 million in renovations to complete the museum.
Many see a price such as $350 million and are in shock at the amount of money, but the truth of the matter is, this was a tremendous deal for the government of Spain. Many art experts who have seen the pieces in the collection of over 700 paintings disagree. They say the value of the paintings, now hanging in the Madrid gallery, by artists such as Rembrandt, Goya, Dürer, El Greco, Canaletto and Caravaggio is somewhere in the area of $1 to $3 billion dollars. There are art pieces of all types from the styling of Picasso to Kirchner to Sargent. There are also American artists such as Hopper and Homer represented.
But the exhibit is not done. In the past few years the museum has grown. It now includes what was the Palace of Goyeneche located on Marqués de Cubas street. In this location one can see another collection of paintings as well as sculptures by Rodin.
For art lovers, the collection is a way to see it all in one location. The views range widely from Picasso’s Harlequin With a Mirror to Renoir’s Woman With A Parasol, from Dream Caused By The Flight of a Bee by Dali to a portrait of George Washington’s cook by Gilbery Stuart and a Portrait of Henry VIII by Holbein. In addition, one can find Wyeth’s and O’keefe’s you may not have known of before now.
The design of the museum is also very attractive. Instead of putting paintings anywhere, they are all organized by time period. A stroll through the museums halls is much like walking a timeline through history from the 13th to 20th centuries in art. This is especially attractive to those who have interests in particular portions of history.
When it comes to the prestige of this collection, it is believed only to be second to that of the British monarchy. It is with thanks to the wife of Baron Thyssen, Carmen Cervera that it is now available to the public for viewing, at the museum as well as an additional 100 in Barcelona.
This gallery is one that is beautiful beyond words and worth touring for it’s appearance alone. Starting with the salmon colored walls and marble floors of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and spreading into the expended 86,000 square feet of space in the new addition, there is never a shortage of magnificent art to explore and experience. Make a reservation to be impressed!