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Essential masterpieces to see during your visit to the Prado Museum

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Prado Museum in Madrid

When you plan your trip to Madrid, he Prado Museum must be a essential visit, for which you must reserve in your agenda the time necessary to visit at least the most outstanding works of the great painters that this gallery houses.

While not everyone is a big fan of painting, although only you visit Madrid during a weekend you should book at least two hours to enjoy the best masterpieces of painting that are exposed in the Prado Museum.

At the outset you should know that the Meadow Museum is considered as the best art gallery in the world.


Goya's entrance in the Prado Museum in Madrid

The best art gallery in the world

When you visit it you will see that it is not a museum of the so-called encyclopedic styleor, for example, the Paris Louvre, with representation of all schools and pictorial times.

Although the Prado Museum collection It has about 7,600 paintings and about 1,000 sculptures, only less than 1,000 works are exhibited in its rooms, most of which belonged to theRoyal Collections of the Spanish dynasties.

Of course, the Prado Museum gather thebest collection of spanish paintings, and a great representation of Flemish and Italian painting.

The result for the museum visitor is that, compared to other great pictorial museums, you will not find an endless and exhausting collection of paintings from all eras.

On the contrary, you will enjoy a great exhibition of great masterpieces of painting between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, among which is shownthe most sublime of Velazquez and Goya.


Murillo's entrance to the Prado Museum in Madrid

History of the Prado Museum

The origin ofPrado Museum in Madrid goes back to year 1785when the King Carlos III commissioned the architect Juan Villanueva building a building to be Natural Sciences Cabinet.

This building of neoclassical style became the culmination of the architectural work of Villanueva, although its construction was lengthening in time, while the fate of the building changed.

Finally, in November 1819, already during the reign of Fernando VII, the Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures,

In this new institution the Royal Collections exclusively of Spanish painting, with the exhibition of 311 paintings, although the museum funds already had 1,500 works.

Soon it was renamed National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and, subsequently,Prado National Museum, which is its current denomination.


Velázquez's entrance to the Prado Museum in Madrid

During its history, thePrado Museum collection from Madrid It has been expanding, especially with the incorporation in 1872 of the works of the disappearedTrinity Museum,

Said missing museum housed the works collected after the Confiscation of the goods of church, religious and noble orders.

Already more recently, in 1970, the Prado Museum collected part of the funds of the disappeared Museum of Modern Art, those corresponding to the nineteenth century, with works by Madrazo, Rosales or Sorolla, while the works of the twentieth century began to enrich the collection of the nearbyReina Sofia Museum.

Likewise, the Prado Museum collection has also been enriched with numerous legacies and donations, and even with the timely purchase of works such as, for example, the famous painting “The Countess of Chinchón” of Goya, in 2000.

It should be noted that the Casón del Buen Retiro, dependent on the Prado Museum, initially housed the Guernica from Picasso upon arrival in Spain, and before going to its final location in the aforementioned Reina Sofía museum.


Villanueva's entrance to the Prado Museum in Madrid

What is essential to see in Prado Museum

Then I will give you a series of tips for your visit to the Prado Museum and in this way be ablesee the essential works:

First of all, if instead of visiting on your own, you prefer to visit the museum by an expert, here is information about guided tours of the Prado Museum.

Once you have bought the ticket in the Goya Door lockers, in the Loyalty Square, and in front of him Ritz Hotel, go up the stairs next to them to enter the museum at the top of this access.

Although the main facilities of services for visitors (cafeteria, shop ...) are located at the entrance by the Jeronimos Gate, in the Goya Gate You will have basic services such as slogan or audio guides.

When entering do not forget to ask for the brochure with the Plan of the Prado Museum, which will be an essential help to move around the different rooms, while informing you of where the main paintings of the Madrid art gallery are located.


«The Three Graces» by Rubens - Copyright: Museo Nacional del Prado de Madrid

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When you access the Goya High Gate, you arrive directly at the main and most majestic Prado Museum gallery, with its large arch-shaped ceiling that thanks to its skylights gives a great luminosity to the room.

In this great gallery, as you enter you can see the great painting of Titian «Emperor Charles V on horseback in Mühlberg», and a little later, one of the masterpieces of José de Ribera, «Jacob's dream» (room 26), and "Immaculate" (room 29), of Murillo.

If you enter through the first door to the left of this large gallery, you immediately reach room 9, where you find the famous painting «The Three Graces» from Rubens, and in 9B, "The Adoration of the Kings."

In the nearby room 7 you have the best exponent of Rembrandt, "Sagebrush".

And it is in this area, between rooms 8A to 10 A, where you can enjoy the great works of El Greco, among which stand «The Knight's hand on his chest» or "The Trinity".

And immediately you reach the area dedicated to the painter Velazquez, where in the great room 12 and in successive, until 16, you can see his great masterpieces.


«Las Meninas» by Diego Velázquez - Copyright: Museo Nacional del Prado

At the bottom of the main main gallery on floor 1 you have a group of Goya masterpieces, as «The Family of Carlos IV» waves «Pestles».

To be able to see the rest of Goya's paintings, you must go up to floor 2, where they are distributed in their small rooms, and then go down to floor 0 of the Prado Museum, where you will find their black paint.

As you go through a maze of rooms on this floor, you find the majestic painting «Isabel the Catholic dictating her will» from Rosales (room 61B) and a sample of the painting of Sorolla, "Children on the beach" (room 60A).

After crossing the service area for visitors to the Velazquez Gate, you arrive at another group of rooms where large masterpieces of the Flemish and Italian painting of the Prado Museum.

In you visit to the Prado Museum It is imperative that you enjoy the famous paintings of The Bosco, «The garden of delights» and «The table of capital sins» (room 56A). In the same room you have«The triumph of death», from Brueghel.

It is also this area of ​​the 0 floor, in the great room 49, you have two outstanding works of Raphael, «The Cardinal» and «The Virgin of the fish».


Prado Museum on the Prado Promenade in Madrid

And in this same room you can also see «The Annunciation» from Angelic Fra, and «The transit of the Virgin» from Mantegna. And in room 55B, the «Self Portrait» from Dürer.

Finally, you can now leave the Prado Museum by Jeronimos Gate, located in the new annex of the building of The Jeronimos, and where you will find, among other services, the cafeteria and the museum shop.

In this way, you will have the security of having finished the visit not having missed the Prado's main works.

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