Madrid’s Prado Museum is one of the most prestigious galleries in the world. The museum has its origins in the royal painting collections that the Spanish monarchy treasured, which they decided to bring together in a unique museum in the 18th century.
It was then that architect Juan de Villanueva was charged with the construction of a great building on the street Paseo del Prado, located in the centre of Madrid. This was the seed of the current museum, since both the building and the works in its collection have grown over time, but its most iconic area continues to be the Villanueva building.
As far as the works of art that are conserved in the Prado, the numbers are overwhelming. The collection includes about 7,600 paintings, a thousand sculptures and up to 13,000 drawings, engravings and prints. There are also about 3,000 of its works on display in other places.
Obviously not everything that the Prado has is exhibited to the public, since it would need a much larger building. However, the greatest masterpieces are treasured within its walls.
In fact, there are great paintings from the history of art that make a visit to the Prado essential in order to get to know them. Among those, two of the greatest Spanish artists, Diego Velázquez and Francisco de Goya, are highlighted. First, their most acclaimed paintings are displayed, like Las Meninas or Las Lanzas. Secondly, other works can be seen like Los Fusilamientos de la Moncloa or the celebrated Majas, clothed and nude.
But among the most important works of the Prado are those of other great geniuses in the history of painting. Some of the best collections of Bosco are there, or charismatic works by El Greco like El Caballero de la Mano en el Pecho. Works by Durero, Rafael, Rubens, Tiziano, Tintretto and many others are also exhibited.
All of these creators are the main attractions when visiting the Prado, and if go for the first time, it’s best to see a selection of all that you would like to see so as not to feel completely overwhelmed. The art exposition offered by the Prado allows you to come back as often as you like and continuously discover new and interesting works.