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Europe Travel: A Survey of Museums in Madrid, Spain

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This post is a survey of museums throughout Madrid, Spain and maps specific art styles to museums.

When I studied abroad in Madrid, Spain, I had the privilege of spending every week in the Prado Museum as part of my art history course curriculum.

The Prado opened my eyes to the world of how a single piece of art could provide insight into the history, economics, fashion, philosophy and religion of a particular epoch.

Week over week, our instructor would lecture our class about a European artist’s life and times, their particular workshop and technique, and the meaning behind their work. Our class would then visit The Prado, find the specific piece in focus and work through it quadrant-by-quadrant, like detectives over a crime scene. It was the first time I’d ever approached art in this way and I was hooked.

Having now spent another year in Europe, I’m again drawn to the museums, treasure chests where I can apply the lessons I learned years ago.

If you’re in Madrid, I urge you to to incorporate museum time into your itinerary. If you have some extra time on your hands, brush up on some basics of European art history for a fuller experience.

Art History 101

Middle Ages

  • Romanesque — 11th + 12th century
  • Gothic — 13th – 15th century

Modern Ages

  • Renaissance — 15th + 16th century
  • Mannerism — second half of the 16th century
  • Baroque — 17th + 18th century
  • Rococo, Neoclassicism, Romanticism — 18th + 19th century

Contemporary Age (19th + 20th century)

  • Romanticism
  • Realism
  • Impressionism
  • Modernism
  • Cubism
  • Surrealism
  • Expressionism
  • Futurism
  • Fauvism

Museums in Madrid

*El Prado Museum — The Prado is the crown jewel of museums in Madrid, and arguably, Europe. The museum displays European art from the 11th century to the 19th century.
Artists to focus on:
–El Greco (Mannerism)
–Velazquez (Baroque)
–Goya (Romanticism, Rococo)
–Gaudi (Modernism)
*Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza — The most important private collection of art in Europe includes artwork from the 13th-21st century.
Artists to focus on:
–Van Eyck (Renaissance)
–Carpaccio (Renaissance)
— Caravaggio (Baroque)
— Rubens (Baroque)
— Monet (Impressionism)
— Van Gogh (Post-Impressionism)
*Museum Reina Sofia — Primarily 20th century art.
Artists to focus on:
–Picasso (Cubism)
–Dali (Surrealism)
Palacio Real – Palace from the Hapsburg era (18th century); home to Kings of Spain from Charles III to Alfonso XIII; over 3,000 rooms
Museo Sorolla — 19th + 20th century
Artist in focus: Sorolla (Impressionism, Luminism)
Museo Arqueológico Nacional – Presents prehistoric to middle ages art

*Not to miss

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  • AffiliateLabz

    Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂

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