Along with the Museo del Prado and the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza completes a trifecta of one of the world’s most cohesive and respected groupings of art galleries. The three art galleries located within walking distance of each other on Madrid’s main boulevard, Paseo del Prado, comprise a Golden Triangle of Art that creates a lively area that has enhanced the cultural activity of the city and makes it a world-wide destination.
Unlike it’s two predecessors of the Paseo del Prado, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Thyssen for short, is not a national art museum, but rather is host to one of the world’s most renowned private collections of art. The museum’s collection of art complements the other two galleries as it fills historical gaps in the collections of the Prado and El Reina Sofia. The private origin of the collection sets the Thyssen apart from the other two museums as its collection is much more diverse and lacking of any agenda other than the pursuit of showcasing the spectacular collection, making it available for the viewing pleasure of the world’s population. For this reason, many visitors find the three-storied Thyssen to be the most manageable and enjoyable of the three art museums.
Located within the 19th century Villahermosa Palace, the Thyssen houses over 1,600 paintings produced by some of the world’s most respected masters of art spanning over seven centuries. Within the museum are two permanent collections, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection was acquired by the Spanish state in 1993. The permanent collection contains pieces dating as far back as the 13th century up to the 1980s, displaying an extensive collection with works of art in the Italian Primitive, Renaissance, Baroque, the Dutch school, Modernism, Cubism, Pop Art, European post-war figurative, and number of other styles. The Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection was loaned as an extension to the permanent collection by the Baroness and since 2004 has been on display at the Thyssen in the hopes of avoiding divisions within the overall collection, allowing the public to views a special collection of masterpieces, and to observe cohesion throughout the entire collection. The Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection contains works of art from the 17th to 20th centuries and provides a special focus on Spanish art, although also features works from the 17th century Italian and Dutch schools, Impressionism, and German Expressionism and Fauvism.
Despite the expansive and seemingly all-inclusive collections, the museum lacks the intensity present in both the Prado and El Reina Sofia and rather is a delight to walk through. The Thyssen offers a seemingly endless number of canvases with a seemingly endless number of opportunities of losing yourself in masterful art.
Paseo del Prado, 8 - Metro Banco de España
T: +34 902 76 05 11
Summer Hours (Until the 14th of Sept., 2014):
Sundays and Mondays 10AM to 7PM
Tuesdays through Saturdays 10AM to 10PM
Last admission one hour and quarter before closing