Prado Museum Collections

Collections of Prado Museum

If you are an art lover in Madrid, you must find time to explore the Prado Museum collections with your friends and family. The Prado museum is among the most famous in Europe for its vast collection of European art from the twelfth to twentieth centuries. In fact, you can see the largest collection of Spanish artworks in the world in the galleries of Prado Museum. The collections of the museum cover Spanish, French, Italian, Flemish, and Northern School paintings, as well as paintings from the nineteenth century.


Prado Museum is also home to thousands of prints, drawings, photographs, sculptures, and decorative arts from different eras depicting unique art styles. Some of the most famous artists you will come across here include Goya, Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Raphael, Michelangelo, Van der Wayden, and El Greco. So, go on a guided tour and admire art from all corners of Europe under one roof at Prado Museum.

Spanish Paintings

The most extensive of Prado Museum collections is of the Spanish paintings, which is the world’s largest collection of Spanish art. The museum has over 2,500 artworks that span the period from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries.


The vast collection focuses on painters instead of paintings, which is why you can see 140 works by Francisco de Goya here. The Spanish collection can be seen on the ground floor and is spread across seven galleries of the Prado Museum.


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Italian and French Paintings

The Italian and French paintings collection focuses on the period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Spanish monarchs showed extensive interest in them. The most celebrated painter in the collection from the sixteenth century is Titian from the Italian Renaissance.


Several sixteenth century Venetian artworks by Paolo Veronese, Jacopo Bassano, and Tintoretto are also seen in the collections of Prado Museum. Among the seventeenth century Italian and French paintings, you can spot artworks by Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Georges de la Tour, and Luca Giordano.


Also Read: Prado Museum History

Flemish and Northern School Paintings

Witness one of European history’s most recognized paintings, the ‘Descent from the Cross’ by Van der Weyden, in the Prado Museum. Over a thousand Flemish paintings are on display in the museum and depict the iconic oil painting styles of fifteenth to seventeenth centuries.


The Spanish monarchs had the world’s best collection of Flemish paintings, with artists ranging from Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck. Popular artworks in the Prado Museum collections include Raphael’s ‘Saint George and the Dragon’ and Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s ‘The Triumph of Death’.

19th Century Paintings

19th century Paintings form one of the largest collections in the museum and are spread across twelve galleries in the Villanueva building. This collection came to Prado Museum after the closure of Museo de Arte Moderno, and is made up of around 2,700 artworks.


The paintings are inspired by several 19th century art styles and themes, ranging from Neoclassical to Romanticism. Popular artists in this section of Prado Museum include Francisco Goya, Antonio Maria Esquivel, Vicente Lopez, and Genaro Perez Villaamil.


Must Read: Prado Museum Paintings

Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

While paintings and sculptures of Prado Museum collections come from royal sources, prints, drawings, and photographs have different sources. This collection brings together 6,000 prints, 9,000 drawings, and around 10,000 photographs from the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. O


ne of the most significant contributions was by Pedro Fernandez Duran, who gave around 2,000 drawings that included works by Michelangelo. Another significant drawing in the collection is the original ground plan of Prado Museum by Juan de Villanueva, the main architect of the structure.


Read More: Plan Your Visit to Prado Museum

Sculptures and Decorative Arts

Sculptures and Decorative Arts form one of the most stunning segments of the collections of Prado Museum and are an exclusively royal collection. You can see around a thousand sculptures that reflect various art styles, primarily Baroque and Renaissance.


As for decorative arts, the museum has around 3,500 objects made from precious metals and gems. Some of the most noteworthy sculptures here include ‘Charles V and the Fury’ and El Greco’s ‘Epimetheus and Pandora’. In decorative arts, the most iconic exhibit is ‘The Dauphin’s Treasure’ belonging to the Bourbon monarchs.


Do Read:  Prado Museum Opening Hours

Visitor Tips


·     When planning your visit, check the museum’s official website for announcements regarding special exhibitions and opening hours.


·     Take an audio tour or a guided tour of the galleries to better understand the collections of Prado Museum.


·     Remember to follow the museum’s guidelines and rules, especially about not touching the exhibits and maintaining a safe distance from them.


·     If you wish to avoid crowds and explore the museum in leisure, visit in the early morning hours on weekdays.


·     Since a tour of the Prado Museum can easily take two to three hours, plan the rest of your day accordingly.


·     During your tour, remember to see famous artworks like Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ , and Goya’s ‘Third of May 1808’.


·     In case you have limited time, focus on the major collections and specific areas that cater to your interests with a museum map.

FAQs

What is part of the Prado Museum Collection?

Prado Museum collections include the world’s largest collection of Spanish paintings from the twelfth to twentieth centuries, along with many European artworks. The European collection of the museum has French, Italian, Flemish, and Northern School paintings from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries. Other significant collections are the 19th century paintings, sculptures and decorative arts, and prints, drawings, and photographs from different eras.  

Do I need a ticket to see the Prado Museum Collection?

Yes, you will need to buy a ticket to see and explore the vast collections of Prado Museum. Tickets for the museum are available at walk-in counters and can also be bought online. While you can get last-minute tickets at the counters, it is recommended that you buy them online to avoid long queues. You can also get guided tours for your preferred time slot with online bookings.

How big is the Prado Museum Collection?

The Prado Museum Collection is massive and encompasses thousands of artworks from the twelfth to twentieth centuries. You can see around 7,600 paintings, 8,200 drawings, 1,000 sculptures, 3,500 decorative arts, and around 4,800 prints as part of the museum exhibits. The most famous aspect of the museum is that it has the world’s largest collection of Spanish paintings. The collection is spread across different floors, with each segment covering several galleries.

How much time do I need to see the entire Prado Museum Collection?

You will need around two to three hours to see the vast Prado Museum collections at leisure. If you want to study specific sections like the Spanish Paintings or 19th Century Paintings in detail, you will require more time. Remember to plan your visit according to your time constraints and try to keep at least two hours for the museum.

What are the best artworks of the Prado Museum Collection?

The best artworks of the Prado Museum are the ‘Descent from the Cross’ by Van der Weyden and ‘The Dauphin’s Treasure’ of the Bourbons. Other unmissable artworks include ‘The Cardinal’ by Raphael, ‘The Three Graces’ by Peter Paul Rubens, and Emperor Charles V at Muhlberg by Titian. Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, Velazquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ , and Goya’s ‘Third of May 1808’ are a must-see during your museum tour.

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