Are you ready to dive into Spanish culture?
However, there’s one aspect of Spain that stands out above the rest as a true accomplishment.
Spanish art is an achievement unlike any other in the nation.
Where’s the best place to see it?
Museo del Prado.
The building itself is a lesson in craftsmanship with a rich history, and it houses work by all manner of famous Spanish artists.
The work displayed here spans across time and medium, allowing you a glimpse into the heart of Spain.
A trip to the Prado Museum will leave you breathless.
So what exactly does it have to offer, and how can you make the most of your visit?
Fascinating History of the Prado Museum
The building is grandiose in the style of neoclassical architecture and was intended to be used to house the Natural History Cabinet under the king.
Alas, it was not to be.
Construction was halted during the Napoleonic Wars.
Under the watchful eye of Charles’ grandson King Ferdinand IV, the building was repurposed to house the royal collection of art and display it to the public.
The Museum opened its doors in the winter of 1819, and through the years has come to be the home of the largest and some argue most important collection of Spanish art in the world.
It owes its status to the nature of the Monarchs who created the collection. Instead of focusing on a comprehensive display of work, rulers at the time simply gathered up as many paintings by their favorite artists as they could.
The result is one of the best collections of high-quality art in the world.
What the Prado Museum Has to Offer
The Prado Museum offers more artwork than you could see in one visit, but that’s ok.
We’ve outlined some highlights for you, so you won’t miss anything important.
The Titian collection is the most influential in the entire museum. This Italian-born artist was the first one whose work was widely collected by the Monarchs, who attempted (and failed) to woo him to court life.
He did receive several titles from them and went on to paint a number of portraits for the Royal family in the 1500s. The museum has 42 of his original works, consisting largely of religious paintings and royal portraits.
2. Diego de Silva Velázquez
The Sevillian Diego de Silva Velázquez is considered one of the greatest Spanish artists of the 15th century. After his move to Madrid, he quickly joined the King’s service, painting portraits and religious depictions.
Velázquez desired to emulate the great artist Titian and studied him furiously. The Prado Museum has 79 of his paintings.
3. Pieter Paul Rubens
Pieter Paul Rubens was a 17th-century painter, but his work also includes sculpture, prints, architecture and other mediums. He is characterized by his wide range of subject matter. Unlike other court artists, his work includes mythological and historical subjects as well as typical portraits and landscapes.
Rubens was a socialite as well as a skilled artist, making him quite influential in the court and to others who came after him. The Prado houses the biggest collection of his art, some 122 works.
Rafael is perhaps the most famous artist whose work graces the walls of the Prado. Make sure to check out the Late Rafael exhibit offered by the museum, which documents his work during his later life.
It was during this period that Raphael became the most influential western artist of them all. The exhibit offers 74 of his paintings and drawings, many of which have never been seen in Spain.
Planning Your Trip to the Prado Museum
This Madrid museum is located in The Golden Triangle.
It’s in the middle of the city and close to everything else you want to see, so it won’t be hard to plan your trip there.
You’ll want to give yourself ample time to explore the works at the Prado. Besides the abovementioned artists, the works of Goya, Rembrandt, and other masters will keep you occupied for hours.
That being said, your ticket will dictate the time you spend here and what you’ll get to see. There are several options for buying tickets
The all-day entry pass allows you visitation from 10 AM to 8 PM inside the museum and all available exhibits.
You can purchase guided tours of specific exhibits or a combination of exhibits, or you can purchase a time slot of 1-3 hours to visit unguided through the museum.
Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to See the Prado Museum
The Prado Museum offers an amazing opportunity to explore artists of centuries gone by.
You’ll learn about old influence on modern art and technique as you discover a world of color, texture, and form that you’ve never seen before.