Museum of Contemporary Art

Museo del Prado, MadridIn Spain, the Museo del Prado in Madrid, often simply called The Prado, is the country’s oldest art museum and one of the most celebrated in the world. It was established in 1819 to unite and protect the Spanish royal collections. The Prado displays jewelry, furniture, tapestry, paintings, and Greek and Roman sculpture. Most important is its collection of old Spanish masters, which includes a large number of paintings by El Greco, Diego Velazquez, Francisco de Goya, Bartolome Murillo, and Jusepe de Ribera. The Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, a satellite museum of the Prado, includes masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and other 20th-century artists.

guernica pablo picassoPicasso’s famed Guernica (1937), an emotional depiction of the bombing of a Basque village during the Spanish Civil War, is displayed there. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso painted Guernica in 1937 in reaction to the German bombing of the Spanish town of the same name. Francisco Franco, the Fascist general who eventually defeated Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War, ordered the bombing, which decimated this town in the Basque region of northeastern Spain. Picasso took only two months to complete his huge oil painting, which depicted the anguish and suffering caused by the bombing.

Museums of contemporary art in Spain include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, with its dramatic building designed by American architect Frank O. Gehry, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.

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