National Fine Arts Museum
Students' Corner

Housed in the magnificent Palacio de Don Juan de Goyeneche, a finely-restored 17th-century noble mansion, is the wonderful Museum of Fine Arts of Madrid (full name: Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando). The academy / museum was founded in between 1744 and 1752 and first located in the Casa de la Panadería in the Plaza Mayor. A couple of decades later, King Carlos III purchased the Baroque palace that's now its home and commissioned Diego de Villanueva, a Spanish architect, to convert it for academic use as an art academy.

With museums like the Prado and the Reina Sofía just around the corner, this art museum hardly gets the attention it deserves despite its rich collection of artwork by top names throughout the history of European art. The collection includes thousands of paintings, drawings and sculptures spanning the 16th through 20th centuries from Spain and beyond. As you amble through the 35 exhibition rooms, you'll come across a wonderful collection of paintings by Francisco de Goya - once one of the academy's directors - as well as Spain's only painting by 16th-century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Much of the artwork on display is by former students and members of the academy such as, in addition to Goya, Ribera, Zurbarán, Rubens and Picasso, amongst others. Below you can find a list of some of the Spanish and European artists whose masterpieces grace the walls of this must-see museum.

Spanish ArtistsEuropean Artists
  • Francisco de Goya
  • Pedro de Mena
  • Francisco de Zurbarán
  • José de Ribera
  • Joaquín Sorolla
  • Pablo Picasso
  • Antonio de Pereda
  • Juan Gris
  • etc.
  • Giuseppe Arcimboldo
  • Peter Paul Rubens
  • Louis-Michel van Loo
  • Anton Raphael Mengs
  • Leandro Bassano
  • Alessandro Magnasco
  • Giovanni Domenico Olivieri
  • Bertel Thorwaldsen
  • etc.

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