Tour the Prado Museum on your Visit to Madrid

Tour the Prado Museum on your Visit to Madrid

Diego Velazquez's La Familia de Felipe IV (Photo by jfew)

Madrid is famous for its lively streets and plazas, beautiful parks, tapas bars and nightlife, but it is also an incredibly rich cultural center. Madrid is a museum-lovers mecca, and there are more than 70 museums to tour in the city. The largest of them all is the Prado Museum on Paseo del Prado.

Not only is the Prado the largest art gallery in Madrid, it is the largest in the world. Plan to spend several hours here to appreciate as much of the fabulous artwork on display as possible.

You will see a wide variety of art forms at the Prado, including sculptures, coins, drawings and other forms of art, but its collection of paintings is its most impressive feature. There are more than 8,600 paintings held in the Prado’s collection, although only a quarter or so are exhibited at a time due to space limitations. Artwork is exhibited in two buildings, the Cason del Buen Retiro and the Villanueva Building.

The Prado Museum houses and exhibits so many paintings, the best way to classify and organize its collection is by nationality of schools.

Francisco de Goya's El 3 de mayo en Madrid: Los fusilamientos en la montaña del Principe Pío (Photo by jfew)

You will see Italian school artists’ works at the Prado, including masterpieces by Sandro Botticelli, Rafael, Verones, Tiziano and many others. The Early Flemish school includes works by Hans Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, Jochim Patinir and others. Works by Flemish school artists Rubens, Jordaens and others are also exhibited at the Prado. If you are interested in German, French and Dutch schools of art, you’ll enjoy viewing the works of Lucas Cranach, Nicolar Poussin, Rembrandt, Claudio de Lorena and other artists.

tthe crowd in front of velazquez's las meninas (Photo by richard winchell)

The Spanish school is very well represented at the Prado Museum. You’ll see works by a large variety and number of Spanish school artists on display. Bartolome Bermejo, Luis de Morales, El Greco, Velazquez, Murill, Goya and many, many other artists’ works are exhibited at the Prado.

Prado Museum in Madrid

There is such a huge amount of fabulous artwork to see at the Prado Museum, visitors often find it most convenient to tour the Museum in two visits. You can easily spend a few hours one day exploring half of the exhibits, and return for a few hours another evening to see the rest of the astounding collection of artwork exhibited here. Alternatively, you can tour the highlights of the Museum’s exhibits, focusing on your main interests, and then plan to re-visit on your next trip to Madrid to enjoy touring the remainder works at a leisurely pace.