6 Of Spain’s Best Art Museums – Part 1

TYM-Guggenheim_Museum_Bilbao

Art may not be what springs to mind when the conversation turns to Spain. Football, tapas, perhaps bullfighting, but art? Spain has had a distinguished history in the field though, with notables such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Francisco Goya among its pantheon of art greats. Add to this the art treasures amassed at the peak of the Spanish Empire, when Aztec gold filled the national coffers in the 16th and 17th centuries and kings bought the finest of European art, and the promise is obvious. For the art lovers among us, here is a rundown on some of the largest and best of Spain’s art museums.

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
What better place to start than with a modern art museum that’s a work of modern art itself (see picture on top). Probably the most recognizable work of award-winning contemporary architect Frank Gehry, the museum opened its doors in October 1997 and has hosted over 100 exhibitions and ten million visitors since. Situated on the Nervion River, the museum structure is a masterpiece of titanium, limestone and glass curtain walls. The musem’s collection is modern, dating from 1945 onwards, with a focus on paintings and sculptures from America and Europe. Inside too, this is unlike most museums you’ve ever seen. No staid layout here – a 10-meter topiary of a puppy, made from multi-colored flowers, stands guard at the entrance. Inside, high ceilings allow for the display of giant art pieces.

Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville
TYM-Museo_de_Bellas_Artes_Seville
Seville’s Museum of Fine Arts is situated in a 17th Century convent, itself an example of Andalusian Mannerist architecture. When the government of the period confiscated the art in the monasteries and convents of Spain, those from Seville were housed here. Today the museum features art from the Gothic period through to the 20th Century. It also boasts a section dedicated to Murillo and the Seville school, mostly huge altarpieces.

Museo de Bellas Artes, Valencia
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Another former convent-turned-museum filled with art confiscated from monasteries and convents, time with an emphasis on the Valencia School of Painters. Aside from the paintings, the museum houses a collection of about 11,000 drawings, and 300 sculptures and artifacts dating all the way from the Romans to the Visigoths.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for another 3 art museums that are not to be missed!

Further Reading:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187427-c70342/Spain:The.Best.Art.Museums.In.Spain.html
http://www.guggenheim.org/bilbao
http://www.gomadrid.com/museums/reina-sofia-museum.html
http://www.gomadrid.com/museums/prado-museum.html
http://www.aviewoncities.com/madrid/pradomuseum.htm
http://www.gomadrid.com/museums/thyssen-museum.html

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Author: Juan Kattn-Ibarra

COMPLETE SPANISH gives you all the language, practice and skills you need to communicate comfortably and accurately in Spanish. Move confidently from beginner to intermediate level wit... Discover More