Spanish art
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Essential Spanish art

Many visitors to Spain are attracted to the visual arts. Would a visit here be complete without beholding works by some of the country’s greatest masters? Of course not! But which are those paintings that you simply must see and where can you find them?

Las Meninas: You can see this famous Velázquez piece dedicated to the family of Felipe IV at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Or maybe I should say, you can kind of see it, because there’s usually a sizeable group of tourists standing in front of it.

El Guernica: you can observe this brutal Picasso painting at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. You’ll likely feel tempted to take a picture of the enormous work, but remember that taking photos is not allowed.

La maja desnuda: the Spanish equivalent to the Mona Lisa in terms of its mysterious history, this painting by Goya is one of the most seen in the Prado Museum. You can find it right next to “la maja vestida”, which is also an interesting albeit less known work.

El entierro del Conde de Orgaz: you can check out this monumental El Greco painting at Santo Tomé Church in the city of Toledo. This is another work that’s often hard to see given the crowds of observers. We’ve even seen people standing on foot stools to catch a coveted glimpse of the famous piece; it’s not very orthodox, but it’s not a bad idea either.

Retrato de Mae West que puede utilizarse como apartamento surrealista: this well-known Dalí painting, that features an abstract interpretation of the American actress’ facial features, was adapted into a room at the Chicago Art Institute. There’s also a curious 3-D version of the painting at the Teatro Museo Dalí de Figueras (Catalonia).

This may be kind of a short list, but you have to admit, it’s not a bad start.