Madrid is one of the most beloved European travel destinations, and its art museums make it a delight to visit for art lovers. Madrid houses some of the most important and valuable vestiges of European art, and although there are many wonderful galleries and museums that can be found throughout the city, I’m going to tell you about what is known as the Golden Triangle of Art, or the 3 most important art museums in Madrid.
Museo del Prado – the most famous art museum in Madrid
Even if they’re not very passionate about art, most people don’t skip on visiting the Prado when they’re in Madrid. It’s one of the most important European museums, along with the Louvre and the National Gallery of London.
The reason why the Prado is so popular is that it features masterpieces from across Europe dating from the 12th to the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the most famous paintings it houses are Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights or Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas.
One of the lesser known paintings in the Prado – and the one that surprised me the most when I visited the museum – is the Mona Lisa del Prado. It’s very similar to the Mona Lisa that is housed in the Louvre, since the two paintings were probably made at the same time. It isn’t known whether the Prado version was painted by da Vinci or by one of his students, and although this painting has sparked a lot of interest, unfortunately it’s not nearly as famous as the Louvre version.
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
The Reina Sofía museum is named after Queen Sofía of Spain, the wife of King Juan Carlos I. It features 20th-century art as well as exhibitions from contemporary artists.
Here, you can see a few of Salvador Dali’s paintings, but what makes the museum so important is the fact that it houses Pablo Picasso’s La Guernica, which is considered to be his greatest masterpiece. Measuring more than 21 square meters, La Guernica commemorates the 1937 bombing of the town of Guernica and it emphasizes the horrors of war. It is the most imposing art piece I’ve ever seen, and it will surely leave you breathless.
Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza
Although it’s not as famous as the Prado or the Reina Sofía, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is just as interesting. It features artworks from all time periods, so you will surely find something you like here whether you’re a fan of modern art or you enjoy the Baroque or Romanticism.
Some of its most important paintings include Piet Mondrian’s Composition in Colours / Composition No. I with Red and Blue, Hans Holbein’s portrait of Henry the VIIIth and Van Gogh’s View of Vessenots Near Auvers.