In part one, we went through the most famous artworks in the Prado Museum. Now let’s look at the must-see pieces in the other two museums that form Madrid‘s Golden Triangle of Art: Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The museum is housed in a six-story building, which was formerly the Old Madrid General Hospital. Nowadays, the building is home to one of the finest collections of 20th-century art in the world. The museum is divided into three collections and includes masterpieces by Picasso and Dali.
- Guernica by Pablo Picasso. Guernica is undoubtedly Picasso’s most famous work, and one of the most moving anti-war art pieces in the world. Created in 1937, it reflects the tragic consequences of war and the toll it takes on civilians. The painting depicts the Nazi bombing over the Basque village of Guernica, as requested by the Spanish Nationalists. It was not just an aesthetic statement; this painting brought international attention to the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.
- The Great Masturbator by Salvador Dali. This is one of Dali’s most famous works from his surrealist period. The centrally placed head is a kind of self-portrait of Dali and is shaped like the rocks of Cape Creus, where he lived at the time. The nude female figure resembles Gala, who was Dali’s muse during this period. One possible interpretation connects the painting with Dali’s conflicted sexuality and his surreal attempts to express those feelings.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza’s collection was once the second biggest private collection in the world. Now it is often seen as a supplement to the other two museums in the ‘triangle’. Nevertheless, it covers some styles and epochs that the others miss, and houses some world-renowned paintings that are well worth checking out:
- View of Vessenots, Auvers by Vincent van Gogh. Bright colors depict a few cottages and some swaying trees on the horizon in this iconic landscape. The painting – and more specifically the disturbed brushstrokes – is typical of van Gogh’s last period; he painted a lot of landscapes in this manner in the weeks before his death.
- The Grand Canal from San Vio, Venice by Giovanni Antonio Canal. Better known as Canaletto, Canal was one of the most famous Venetian painters in the 18th century. His accuracy in depicting the city’s landscapes was appreciated by art lovers and important figures of his era.
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