The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum, or simply the Thyssen, is an art museum in Madrid, Spain, located near the Prado Museum on one of the city’s main boulevards. It is known as part of the “Golden Triangle of Art”, which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofía national galleries.

Embark on a journey through seven centuries of European art, from the early 1200s to the late 20th century, taking in works by the likes of Dürer, Frans Hals, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Kirchner.

Located on the Art Walk, this wonderful museum holds a vast collection that traces the history of European painting from the Middle Ages right through to the late 20th century. Italian primitives, the German Renaissance, 19th-century American art, Impressionism, German Expressionism and Russian Constructivism are the most widely represented schools and movements in the museum, whose impressive collection boasts over 1000 works of art.

The collection

The Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection shines particularly bright in the areas which are underrepresented in other Spanish museums. Paintings from the Trecento (Italian 14th century), like Christ and the Samaritan Woman by Duccio di Buoninsegna, and works by Early Netherlandish artists like The Annunciation Diptych grisaille by Jan Van Eyck are the museum’s finest examples of late medieval art. The museum also houses an exquisite collection of 15th century portraits, including one of Giovanna Tornabuoni by Ghirlandaio and one of Young Knight in a Landscape by Carpaccio. Works by Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Frans Hals and Canaletto help us trace the trajectory of European art between the 16th and 18th centuries.

A visit to the museum offers a wonderful opportunity to study both landscape and genre art, two types of paintings that were particularly popular in the Dutch school of the 17th century and amongst 19th-century American artists. These paintings also inspired Romantic painters, such as Friedrich, Impressionists like Monet and Degas, and Post-Impressionists, like Gauguin and Van Gogh, all of whom are represented in the museum’s collection.

It also boasts important 20th century avant-garde works: fauvism, expressionism, surrealism, abstraction and pop art. Harlequin with a Mirror by Picasso, Picture with Three Spots, No. 196 by Kandinsky, Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Waking by Dali, The Cock by Chagall, Hotel Room by Hopper and Woman in Bath by Lichtenstein are some of them.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection is spread around the second floor, where the Old Masters until the start of the 19th century are found, and the first floor is devoted to the work of the Modern Masters from impressionism to the 20th century.

The ground floor of the museum, with its own entrance at the start of the main hall, houses the new installation of 180 works from the Carmen Thyssen collection.


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