The Prado Museum of Madrid celebrates its 200th birthday! The special anniversary has certainly not gone unnoticed, in the world of art as in the digital world. Indeed, for the occasion, Google has dedicated a Doodle designed by cartoonist Nate Swinehart to the historic Prado. A certainly original way to honor the grandeur of the Spanish museum for its bicentennial.
An illustrious bicentenary for the museum of Madrid
The Museo Nacional del Prado welcomes the works of incredible Italian, Spanish and Flemish artists, including Andrea Mantegna, Beato Angelico, Raffaello Sanzio, Rogier van der Weyden, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Paul Rubens, Titian, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco Goya.
Although its history is very ancient, the iconic museum of Madrid initially had a scientific purpose. The building was constructed at the behest of Charles III of Spain along with a series of scientific institutions included in the re-urbanization project called Salón del Prado. At first, it was the Gabinete de Historia Natural. Interesting fact, if one considers that years later this will be an emblematic place for visual arts.
The author of the monumental building was Juan de Villanueva, also the architect of the botanical garden. However, the Gabinete de Historia Natural reached almost total destruction just after its completion. The arrival of French troops in Spain and the following war of independence left heavy traces.
Only thanks to the interest shown by Ferdinand VII and his wife, the retrieval of the structure started in 1818. This fact will lead to the realization of a work that will be at the summit of Spanish neoclassicism!
Prado Museum: at the top of the European art scene
The first name of the museum, Museo Real de Pinturas, was attributed on 19 November 1819. At that moment, some of the best works of the Royal Spanish Collection were on display.
It has been 200 years since then and the Prado Museum has conquered the top of the artistic panorama in Europe. Today it houses a fine collection of 8,600 paintings and over 700 sculptures.
In the museum, among other incredible artworks, there is La Gloria, by Tiziano, painted for Charles V. There are also paintings by Goya, Caravaggio and the works of numerous other international artists, especially Dutch and Flemish. The Museo del Prado is today the most important and most visited museum of art in Spain with artworks ranging from the twelfth to the twentieth century.
Next projects and exhibitions
On the occasion of its 200 years, the Prado embraces diversity as a value. Throughout the year the museum exhibited works from Latin America such as Matrimonios de Martín de Loyola con Beatriz Ñusta y de Juan de Borja con Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola.
On the occasion of the bicentennial, a special program has been set up to host numerous exhibitions and activities related to the museum. Among these, the exhibition that celebrates its anniversary, “Museo del Prado 1819-2019. Un lugar de memoria ”. The show traces the history of the museum, illustrating the development of the institution and how it represented the historical evolution in Spain.
In addition, there will be a project, “Memoria audiovisual” that will recover the image of the Museo Nacional del Prado in the last hundred years through the contribution of over 400 digitized documents.