If you were thinking of taking in a spot of art whilst on a Madrid city break, chances are you’d make a beeline for the prestigious Prado Museum; it is after all famed as the city’s premier tourist attraction and houses one of the oldest – and greatest – art collections in the world, including masterpieces by Bosch and Rubens, Velázquez, Goya and El Greco. Yet just a short stroll away lies the lesser-known yet thoroughly rewarding Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, situated in the former Palacio de Villahermosa and home to some 800 works of art collected by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his wife.
The collection begins with the Renaissance and Classicism periods, featuring works by Caravaggio, Titian and Canaletto. The first floor meanwhile houses 17th-century landscapes and still-life, 18th-century Rococo and Neoclassicism and 19th-century Romanticism and Realism. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections feature paintings by Monet, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, whilst Fauvism and Expressionism are represented by Matisse, Kandinsky and Ensor. The ground floor is dedicated to 20th-century paintings, notably the Cubist, Avant-Garde and Pop-Art movements.
And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite, from 4 June the Thyssen-Bornemisza plays host to a special monographic exhibition dedicated to the painter, Camille Pissarro (1830 – 1903). A key figure within the Impressionist movement, the exhibition features more than 70 of Pissarro’s finest works and seeks to celebrate and cement his reputation as one of the great pioneers of modern art. Running until 15 September, entrance to the exhibition in addition to the museum’s permanent collections costs 15€ per person. The museum is open daily from 10am until 7pm (12pm until 4pm on Mondays).