Prado National Museum

One of the first sights that I was recommended to visit in Madrid was the Prado National Museum.  It is well-known by those who know me that I like to visit a good museum.  I had read that the Prado was home to one of the best art collections in the world.  According to Wikipedia it is the 11th most visited museum in the world.  Holding a Madrid card meant that I did not have to pay an entrance fee and I could enter without having to queue at the ticket office.

The Prado was initially set up as a museum displaying paintings and sculptures.  Over the years other collections have been added.  However, it is most famous for its extensive art collection.  This dates from the 12th century to the 19th century.  The paintings range from Spanish masters such as Velázquez and Goya, to Italian masters such as Raphael and Titian.  There are also paintings from the Flemish masters.  In fact there are paintings displayed from all over Europe.  Sculptures date back to ancient Greece and Rome.

The museum is certainly impressive not only in size but also with the collection it holds.  This comprises of 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings.  The museum itself displays 1,300 works.  There are over 3,00o items that are out on loan to other museums.

The best known work is Las Meninas by Velázquez.  The importance of Velázquez to the Prado cannot be underestimated.  Not only did he bequeath his work Velázquez was also responsible for the collection of Italian masters.

My personal highlights were the collection of art.  I may not know one end of a paintbrush from another but I like to think that I know what constitutes a work of art.  Favourites were ‘The Fall of Man’ by Titian and ‘Third of May’ by Goya.

As a museum I would certainly rank it alongside the National Gallery in London.  There is so much more to see and enjoy.  You can only marvel at the range of paintings.  The beauty is simply breathtaking.  I would recommend that you purchase a audio guide to complement your visit.  Overall, a visit to the Prado is a must when you visit Madrid and I cannot wait to go back again.

Until the next time, stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

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