First quarter of a century for Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

  • Culture

First quarter of a century for Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

A visitor at the exhibition ‘Masterworks from Budapest: From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde’. Photo: EFE/Javier Tormo. (EFE)
A visitor at the exhibition ‘Masterworks from Budapest: From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde’. Photo: EFE/Javier Tormo. (EFE)

Housed at the Villahermosa Palace in Madrid, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum opened in 1992. It is renowned for its vast and valuable collections, comprising more than 1000 works of art covering European painting from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century and including masterpieces by Hieronymus Bosch, Velázquez, El Greco, Zurbarán, Van Gogh, Dalí, Antonio López, and many other celebrated artists. It is the third most visited museum in Spain, coming behind the Prado and the Reina Sofía. It welcomes about a million visitors every year, going past this mark in four occasions, as in 2016, the third best year in terms of the number of visitors.

On the occasion of its 25th anniversary, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is organising a comprehensive programme of exhibitions and cultural events, beginning in 2016 and going well into 2018, and including a new official logo and all kinds of celebrations.

From February to May 2017, visitors will be able to enjoy, ‘Masterworks from Budapest. From the Renaissance to the Avant-Garde’ opened by King Felipe VI, Hungarian President János Áder, and both their wives.

 ‘Masterworks from Budapest’ includes 90 works from the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest and the Hungarian National Gallery, representing the Spanish, Italian, German, Flemish and Hungarian schools of painting. Outstanding works include The Penitent Magdalene by El Greco, Adoration of the Shepherds by Bronzino, Raphael’s Esterhazy Madonna, Salomé With the Head of St John the Baptist, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, and Rearing Horse and Mounted Warrior, a bronze statuette by Leonardo da Vinci.

Rafael Moneo, architect, and Venetian art

From April to June, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum will focus on Rafael Moneo, the first Spanish architect to get the Pritzker Architecture Prize – the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in architecture. The exhibition, ‘Rafael Moneo. Theory through practice. Archive materials (1961-2016)’ is in fact a retrospective, gathering 121 drawings, 19 scale models and 152 photographs illustrating 52 of Moneo’s most iconic projects.

From June to September, the Museum will pay tribute to Italian art in ‘Renaissance Venice’, an exhibition showing paintings from Venetian masters of the sixteenth century: Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and Lotto, among others. The works come from private collections and galleries from all over the world.

A look at young Picasso

‘Picasso/Lautrec’ analyses the early works of Pablo Picasso (1900-1904) and how they were influenced by French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition will run from October 2017 to January 2018.

Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec met in Paris at the turn of the twentieth century. Picasso was only 19 years old, and he had just arrived in the French capital. The paintings on display range from his first exhibition at Els Quatre Gats to the beginning of his Rose Period, following his evolution from expatriate to renowned artist.

A building with a lot of history

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is housed at the Villahermosa Palace, on Paseo del Prado. It opened on 8 October 1992, in a ceremony attended by the King and Queen of Spain. Eight months later, most works in the collection became the property of the State.

In 2004, the Museum was expanded into the two adjoining buildings, previously owned by the Goyeneche family. The new buildings now house the most valuable works in the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.