Museo Reina Sofia

The Museo Reina Sofia is one of the many great museums that help to make Madrid an utterly ideal destination for art enthusiasts. It is at the Reina Sofia Museum where visitors will find the largest and best collection of twentieth-century Spanish Art, with the crowning piece being Pablo Picasso's Guernica. This large painting is heralded by many critics as being Picasso's main masterpiece and is alone worth the price of admission. Other works by Picasso grace the walls at the sprawling Museo Reina Sofia, and visitors can also expect to see works by other renowned Spanish artists, such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Juan Gris. A limited number of works from non-Spanish artists are also on display at this fantastic museum, though the focus is mostly on peninsular art.

The Museo Reina Sofia is housed in a large and rather imposing building, the core of which was built in the latter part of the 1700s. The various, high-quality art exhibits are spread out over four different floors, with the second and fourth floors being home to the permanent exhibits. Plexiglas elevators are in place to get from floor to floor, and free guided tours can be enjoyed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The tours offer terrific insight into the museum's main pieces, such as Guernica.

Picasso's Guernica was a response to the 1937 German and Italian bombing of a Basque town during the Spanish Civil War and is hailed as the country's national piece of art. The painting depicts the horrors that the town's people suffered as a result of the disgraceful bombing campaign and sends a strong antiwar message. Hung in the same area as Guernica are a number of sketches that Picasso executed while planning his masterpiece. You can also see pictures that show the famous artist working on this renowned painting. It is worth noting that during the years that Franco ruled Spain with a fascist fist, Guernica was banned in the country. As such, it hung in the New York Museum of Modern Art until 1980.

Works by Picasso figure among the exhibit highlights at the Reina Sofia Art Museum, as do works by Salvador Dali. Around twenty different Dali paintings are on display in Room 10, and they are all quite amazing. Standing in front of them, visitors get a true appreciation of the artist's dynamic style. Paintings and sculptures by Joan Miro also figure among the highlights at the Reina Sofia Museum, but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything that there is to see. Visitors to the Reina Sofia Art Museum can even drop by Room 12 to watch films that examine Surrealism. This is truly a magnificent museum to explore, and thanks to its laid-back appeal, lingering longer than expected can be easy.

You can find the Reina Sofia Museum near the Museo del Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Together, these three museums make up the area of the city that is known as the Golden Triangle of Art. This is a part of town that cultural enthusiasts won't want to neglect, and since it is close to some of the city's other top attractions, such as the Parque Del Retiro, staying in the area is worth considering. Reina Sofia Art Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday. Regardless of which day of the week you plan on visiting the museum, you can get in for free if you show up at the right time. Free periods are 7 p.m. to close on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 2:30 p.m. to close on Saturdays, and 10 a.m. to close on Sundays.

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