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Top highlights of Prado Museum, artistry beyond imagination

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A treasure-house of eclectic Italian, French and Flemish art that date back to 1700, paintings from the Spanish Golden Age, and impressive Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, the Museo Nacional del Prado or Prado Museum is the largest and most visited attraction in Madrid.

Designed by architect Juan de Villanueva in 1785, the Prado Museum in Madrid was opened to the public as the Museo Nacional del Prado for the first time in November 1819. Decorated with the most celebrated works of some of the best artists of their time like Francisco Goya, Fra Angelico, Diego Velázquez, Raphael, El Greco, Hieronymus Bosch, and Titian, the museum is a very important national landmark.

The four floors of the museum house more than 20,000 works of art comprising 7,500 paintings, 8,000 drawings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures and other historical documents.

Here's a quick guide to the Prado Museum for every museum-goer.

Prado Museum - In a Nutshell

Prado Museum - Handy Information

⏰ Suggested Duration: 3-4 Hours
☀️ Best Time to Visit:6 PM to 8 PM
💜 Must See:The Garden of Earthly Delights
🎟️ Prado Museum Ticket: €15
🎫 Prado Museum Guided Tour: €35

Must-see at Prado Museum

Hieronymous Bosch’s triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights
Francisco Goya’s La Maja desnuda
Diego Velázquez’s Las Meninas
Raphael’s The Cardinal
Titian’s Venus and Adonis

Prado Museum - Things To Know

No. of visitors per year: 2 million
Established: 1819
Architect- Juan de Villanueva
Architectural Style- Neoclassical style

Prado Museum Opening Hours and Address

The Prado Museum is open from Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm.
10 am to 7 pm on every Sunday, January 1, May 1, and December 25.
10 am to 2 pm on December 24 and 31, as well as January 6

Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Closest Subway Station- Banco de Espana

Why You Must Visit the Prado Museum

Powerful Works of Art

The Museum takes pride in housing around 20,000 works of art - 7,500 paintings, 8,000 drawings, 4,800 prints, and 1,000 sculptures and other historical documents created by the masters of Baroque art like Velazquez, El Greco, Goya, and El Bosco. This makes the Prado Museum one of the largest and most visited museums in the world.

It Survived Three Wars

"Prado," which translates to "meadow" in Spanish, gives off the vibe of being a tranquil and very laid-back location. However, not many are aware that the Prado Museum has withstood three conflicts that Spain has seen, including the Spanish Civil War, the War of Independence, and World War II.

In Spain, the Civil War lasted from 1936 to 1939 and the Prado Museum was not spared of the attack. As soon as the museum was exposed to bombings, the evacuation work started to save works of art in history. Sandbags were used to carry all of the museum's artwork to other European museums one at a time. They remained there until the war's conclusion, after which the royal collection was sent back to Madrid.

Prado Museum Highlighs-Guided Tour

Guided Tours Available

One can explore the stunning artworks on display at the Prado Museum with a knowledgeable guide. Select an English- or Spanish-speaking bilingual guide and erase the fuss of language barrier. Once inside, your guide will lead you around the Prado Museum's halls and galleries so you can view and learn all about the renowned works of art that are vividly on display.

Prime Location

The Prado Museum is located in "Paseo del Prado", one of the main boulevards in Madrid. The Prado Museum enjoys a prime location advantage with tons of restaurants and attractions around. “Madrid’s Big Three" - The Prado, Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza are located in the "Golden Triangle of Arts”. Other major attractions in this region include the three sculptural water fountains designed by Ventura Rodriguez, and the beguiling Royal Botanical Gardens.

Velazquez, El Greco, Goya, and El Bosco's Artwork

The Prado Museum houses some of the best and most celebrated works of Velazquez, El Greco, Goya, and El Bosco. The works of these artists are the main attraction to this museum.

  • "Saturn Devouring His Son" by Goya is a contentious painting that shocks viewers while also criticising humankind's wicked deeds.

  • "Las Meninas" is a really intricate painting by Velázquez, whose inspiration came from the artist's own workshop.

  • El Greco’s, "Knight with Hand on his Chest," accurately captures the demeanour of the Spanish aristocrat from the sixteenth century.

  • "The Garden of Earthly Delights" is a group of three paintings that divides the world into paradise and hell and depicts its history from creation to the end.
  • Prado Museum Tickets

    Along with a sizable collection of Spanish artwork, the Prado Museum also houses works by Raphael, Titian, and other Renaissance and Baroque masters. To take advantage of skip-the-line access, guided tours, or bundle deals with the Royal Palace of Madrid, purchase Prado Museum tickets.

    Prado Museum Highlights

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    1. Christ Embracing St Bernard, by Francisco Ribalta

    This is one of Ribalta's most exquisite compositions. Bernard's euphoric vision is depicted in a way that is expertly calibrated to have the greatest impact. The saint is shown as a gaunt man with a deep set eyes and pronounced cheekbones.

    He holds Christ in his arms as a half smile appears on his mouth, conveying the divine rapture that permeates both his body and spirit. St. Bernard's body becomes limp as the Savior approaches him from the cross and must be held by Him. The figures appear tactile in the sharply focused light. Ribalta succeeds in externalising this potent religious experience, making it feel real but not ordinary byexercising remarkable control over the composition and every element.

    2. Saturn Devouring His Son, by Francisco Goya

    One of the fourteen dark and strange works in the collection of Francisco Goya , the foremost Romantic painter in Spain in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, is Saturn Devouring His Son.

    This Goya picture is based on a Greek tale in which Saturn eats one of his newborn sons out of fear of being overthrown by him, as the title suggests. Prior to being transferred on a canvas, the painting was used to decorate a wall at Goya's home. This allowed it to eventually become one of the most well-known works in the Prado Museum.

    3. The Family of Carlos IV, by Francisco Goya

    The spring and summer of 1800, not long after Goya was appointed First Chamber Painter, saw the completion of this picture of the royal family of King Carlos IV at Aranjuez and Madrid. It demonstrates the artist's skill at creating distinctive characters. King Carlos IV and Queen Maria Luisa de Parma are seated in the middle of the scene.

    The artist's aptitude for analyzing people is demonstrated by the nuanced way in which the characters are defined. In 1814, the Royal Palace in Madrid listed this piece, and two years later, the Prado Museum added it to its holdings.

    4. The Third of May 1808 in Madrid/ The Execution, by Francisco Goya

    One of the most revolutionary paintings ever produced is The Third of May 1808. It's one of the earliest works of art that show the true horrors of war, as opposed to the romanticized ones that had previously been recognized.

    The artwork was commissioned by the Spanish government at the time to honour the country's resistance during the early 19th-century Napoleonic Wars. The Prado Museum also houses a painting titled "The Second of May 1808."

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    5. CLas meninas, by Diego Velázque

    Unsurprisingly, one of the most well-known Spanish artists to have ever lived painted Las Meninas, which is the most well-known artwork in Spanish history. Diego Velázquez painted it during his final years, and Prado Museum visitors are still mesmerised by it now.

    The interesting Velázquez painting gives us a glimpse of a situation occurring at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid, where the Baroque artist was employed. While the artist is painting the king and queen's portrait, we can see the royal family, members of the household, the artist, and the king and queen's reflection in the mirror. It is a national treasure and a pivotal work of art in the development of Western art.

    6. The Three Graces – Peter Paul Rubens

    Rubens' painting The Three Graces is a remarkable masterpiece as it was created for the artist's collection. It was finished soon after he wed Helena Fourment, his second wife, who also served as the model for this piece.

    Although it was painted to honour Peter Paul Rubens' new love following the death of his first wife, King Philip IV of Spain purchased it in 1666 to decorate Madrid's Royal Alcazar. It ultimately travelled in this manner to the Prado Museum

    7. Knight With Hand on his Chest, by El Greco

    This work of art by El Greco has long been a favourite among visitors to the Prado Museum. The artwork displays a hidalgo, a nobility.

    The man in the artwork is about 30 years old and is dressed in 1570s-era attire, with a white pipe collar. The neutral background contrasts with the face and the full-bodied sword, while the collar also serves as a framing for the face in the photograph. We only see the face, the sword, and the hand in addition to the surroundings.

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    8. The Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch

    One of the most well-known works by the enigmatic Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch is The Garden of Earthly Delights . The only thing that is known about the man's life is that he spent the majority of it in s-Hertogenbosch.

    His artwork sometimes includes strange imagery, and this masterwork is no exception. Due to the sexual material in the centre panel, this triptych artwork, which depicts the Garden of Eden, Life on Earth, and the Last Judgment, was most likely commissioned by a private individual.

    9. The Descent from the Cross, by Rogier van der Weyden

    One of Rogier Van Der Weyden’s early Flemish paintings, The Descent From The Cross shows The Deposition of Christ painted on oak panels. Numerous copies of the picture were afterwards produced by various artists in Europe, further solidifying Van Der Weyden's position as one of the greatest painters of his time.

    Van Der Weyden does a great job of depicting the feelings of people who were present as Christ was taken down from the cross. Through the use of symmetry, distance, and symbolism, he is able to enhance this emotive scenario. He is also able to honour the group of persons who ordered the painting at the same time.

    10. Rubens Painting ‘The Allegory of Peace’, by Luca Giordano

    This painting by the famous Baroque master, Peter Paul Rubens, is a perfect example of art imitating life. The Allegory of Peace depicts a chaotic battle between two armies that is eventually won by the goddesses of peace and prosperity. On one side stands the figure of Mars, god of war, with an army of warriors, ready for combat. On the other side stands Venus and Concord, goddesses of love, beauty, and peace.

    Prado Museum Tips

    • To avoid the hassle of standing in long queues and also save some money, the Prado Museum Tickets should be purchased online in advance. Highly recommended- Skip the Line Prado Museum Tickets.
    • Do not carry your cameras to the museum as photography is strictly prohibited inside the museum. So, refrain from clicking pictures. Other objects like umbrellas or large bags are not allowed in the museum and will be kept in the cloak room.
    • Wear walking shoes so that you can explore the entire museum comfortably on foot.
    • While returning, make a quick stop at the souvenirs shops by the Prado Museum.ou will find an assorted collection of prints, books and other fascinating collectables.
    • The museum provides free wheelchairs and canes which can be used during the visit.
    • If you plan on visiting the 3 art museums that make up Madrid’s Golden Triangle, the Prado, Thyssen, and Reina Sofia, then go for Paseo del Arte. You will save €6, as compared to buying the full-price tickets individually, and your pass will be valid for a year.
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    Prado Museum Timed Entry Tickets
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    Prado Museum Guided Tour
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    Skip the Line Guided Tour of Prado Museum & Royal ...
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    Guided Tour of Prado Museum with Tapas Experience
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    Madrid’s Prado Museum and El Retiro Park Guided Tour
    Madrid’s Prado Museum and El Retiro Park Guided Tour

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    Prado Museum Highlights