Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum / Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Wander through an amazing collection made up of over 1000 paintings, spanning the history of art from the 13th right up until the 20th century. Most of the big names are here, all under one roof.
Complete the Golden Triangle of Art.
Discover one of the most extraordinary private collections of predominantly European art in the world. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, or simply the Thyssen, is named after its founder. It is known as part of the "Golden Triangle of Art," which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries. Where the Thyssen-Bornemisza fills the historical gaps in its counterparts' collections, the Prado and the Reina Sofia enable you to study the body of work of a particular artist in depth. The Prado features the single best collection of Spanish artwork, as well as Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch, and German schools. On the other hand, the Reina Sofia houses impressionists, expressionists, and European and American paintings from the 20th century. With over 1,000 paintings, the Thyssen was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection.
A rich collection
Step back into the late Middle Ages and admire triptychs of the Trecento (Italian 14th century), and the Flemish Primitives like Van Eyck. The museum also houses an exquisite collection of 15th century portraits, including the work of Carpaccio, and Dürer. Caravaggio, Rubens, Frans Hals, and Canaletto provide us with further insight into the trajectory of European art between the 16th and 18th centuries. Take the superb opportunity to study the landscapes and genre works that were particularly prevalent in the Dutch school of the 17th century and among 19th-century North American painters. These same works were also studied by the Romantic painters, such as Friedrich, impressionists like Monet and Degas, and the Post-Impressionism artists, which included Gauguin and Van Gogh. The ground floor houses a comprehensive collection of the avant-garde works of the 20th century: Fauvism, Expressionism, and Surrealism, as well as abstract and pop art. Picasso, Kandinsky, Dali, Chagall, Hopper, and Roy Lichtenstein are just a few names among the outstanding artists featured in the museum. Given the wealth of the collection, you might want to start with the section that most interests you.
Why in Madrid?
A competition was held to house the core of the collection from 1987–88 after Baron Thyssen, having tried to enlarge his museum in Lugano (Villa Favorita), searched for a location in Europe. The proximity to the Prado Museum and the quality of the building he was offered by the Spanish government persuaded the Baron to bring his collection to the Villahermosa Palace in Madrid, an edifice of the late 18th century. The museum welcomed 850,500 visitors in 2017.
Plan your visit
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 7pm and Mondays, 12am to 4pm (free entry). The closest metro stations are Atocha, Plaza de Cibeles, and Banco de España (Line 2). The museum is only a stone's throw from several other art galleries, including the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Museo Reina Sofía, on one of Madrid's main boulevards.