This museum is Spain's collection of 20th century art, opened in 1992 and named after Dona Sofia, the present Queen of Spain. It focuses on the work of some of the leading lights in modern art- Pablo Picasso (from Malaga), Salvador Dali (Figueres, Catalunya) and Joan Miro (Barcelona) among many other great Spanish modern artists.
In honesty, I'm not much of a fan of modern art. The collection seemed a wide ranging variety of styles. It ranged from a lot of pieces that were interesting and thought provoking, to several that were so abstract that....Anyway, I was overhearing one guy "expertly" appreciating a Miro painting and claiming that he saw some mythical figures there. Suffice to say he must have been most imaginative:) I personally would have liked to see more Dali pieces.
The one painting that I had to see was the famous Picasso piece Guernica(1937) which represented the bombing of the Basque town of Guernica by Italian and German warplanes. The painting vividly shows the brutality of war and brought the Spanish Civil War to international attention, condemning the unjustified bombing of Guernika. Picasso's will explicitly stated that the piece could not be shown in Spain until democracy were restored.
The museum collection was tastefully presented, it was not so huge that you were overwhelmed by it. As I'm spanish speaking, i didn't pay attention to how well the collection was described in English (sorry:)
Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia
Back in England, a friend mentioned that his favourite painting was in Madrid and so could we go and take a look at it. So it was off to the Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia to see Picasso's masterpiece Guernica. Mighty fine it was, and a fridge magnet and postcard were purchased at the gift shop.
We only had a short time to explore the huge museum, so give it a decent morning or afternoon.
Nearest tube Atocha
I’ll be the first to admit that as much as I enjoy art, I do not enjoy modern art. I’m a Renaissance girl – I appreciate fine details in art. I don’t understand modern art and, to be honest, have no desire to try. But, I had read about the history behind Picasso’s Guernica and it was one piece of modern art that I had to see while in Madrid.
Because I only really wanted to see one painting, it didn’t make much sense to pay €6/person to get into the museum. So we opted to go to the Reina Sofia on Sunday when admission is free. And imagine my luck – after both the Thyssen and the Prado did not allow photographs to be taken – the Reina Sofia did allow photos…just not of the one painting I came to see.
We entered the museum and picked up our free ticket from the counter, passed through security and headed to the second floor to find the section where Guernica was located, guarded by two staff members on either side of the painting and a large crowd in front. There were multi-language guides on the wall that explained the meaning of the painting; I highly recommend picking one up and reading it over. It discussed the most famous single painting in the world for the 20th century.
Picasso painted Guernica in protest to the Spanish Civil War as part of his commission to paint something on behalf of the Spanish government for the 1937 Paris exhibition. The Basque town of Gernika-Lumo had been bombed by the Nationalist air force earlier in that same year, killing many civilians. Picasso’s moving portrayal, including a screaming mother holding her child, represents this town’s crisis. As part of his protest, Picasso refused to allow the painting to be on display in Spain under a democratic government was established; the painting was on display in New York until 1981 when it was returned to Spain. At first it was on display at the Prado, but moved to the Renia Sofia in 1992.
If you are interested in seeing this painting, you can view Guernica online.
Visit the museum website for specific opening hours and prices.
If you would like to enjoy the influential modern art scene of Spain with the leading names such as Miro, Dali and Picasso as well as other artists, Reina Sofia could be your choice. You may spend hours here if you are into it, but for me the first two hours were great and later I was dragged by my wife from one hall to the next. The admission fee is 6 Euros.
We went to this Museum on Sunday morning as it had free entry. It was weird and interesting as it houses contemporary art and I had not heard of any of the artists on show there.But the experience was very good and the museum building itself is great.when we came out there was a sort of Happening going on in the square (something to do with raising money for the developing countries I think)
and there was a local rock band playing there. So it was altogether a cool morning. Only down side was the fact we got pickpocketed on the way back up Atocha but more of that on warnings and dangers page...
There are many masterpieces in the Reina Sofia museum. There is one that dwarfs all the others: Pablo Picasso's Guernica (El Gernika in Basque). Picasso's masterpiece, protesting fascism and war, resided in New York's Museum of Modern Art until, by its painter's order, Spain was rid of the fascist (falangist) dictator Francisco Franco -- and Spain became once more a liberal society. MOMA sent it to the Prado only after King Juan Carlos ceded the all-but-total powers Franco had bequeathed him and restored representative government.
The work is huge: nearly 11 by over 37 feet. It hangs in a room specially configured for it; and it is the only painting in that room. It is powerful. Very powerful. (Because photographing is prohibited in the museum, my picture here is taken from Wikipedia.)
An old 18th century hospital was beautifully remodeled and converted into The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in 1992. In 2005 it added an extension designed by French architect Jean Nouvel to create new exhibition areas. The area devoted to the permanent collection has been increased by over 50%, making the Reina Sofia one of the largest contemporary art museums in the world today.
Many of its art works were transferred from the nearby Prado, and it's now a treasure-house of contemporary and modern art. Two of the floors are devoted to temporary exhibits, while the other two are for the permanent collection which also covers Abstract, Pop, and Minimal Art movements.
The highlight of this museum is the 20th century's most famous painting, Picasso's "Guernica". It was commissioned by the Spanish government for a Paris exhibition as a Civil War protest and hung in a New York gallery until 1981, fulfilling Picasso's wish that it should not be shown in Spain until democracy was established. It was then exhibited at the Prado, and moved to this permanent home in 1992.
The entrance fee to this museum is 6 Euros (2009). Madrid card or Paseo de Arte card holders entry free
If you into modern contemporary art Reina Sofia will entertain you. It houses tremendous collections from well known artist like Salvador Daly, Pablo Picasso, Chillida, Miro and others. Make sure visiting Reina Sofia is part of your trip.
We visited Reina Sofia and glad we did. For the first time I saw ‘Guernica’ by Pablo Picasso, cubism at it’s finest. I knew the painting was big but I didn’t realize it was that big. I wish I could take a photo of his work. They are some weird and unusual work at the museum.
Open everyday except Tuesday.10am-9pm and Sunday10am-2.30pm.
General admission: €6.
The building that houses this art museum is huge with glass and steel lift shafts which was designed by British designer Ian Ritchie. In the centre is a courtyard that is very green and quite peaceful. A few sculptures are dotted around.
Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon, Henry Moore and Picasso are just some of the artists on display here. Picasso being the most popular. The most famous and most popular painting is Guernica by Picasso. This represents Picasso's impassioned denunciation of war and fascism. It commemorates the 1937 destruction of the Basque town of Guernica by German bombers supporting Francoist forces in the Spanish civil war. Because it is so popular, you may have to wait to get near it.
Picasso refused to allow the painting to be displayed in Spain under the Franco regime. It was finally brought to Spain in 1981. Arriving at the Reine Sofiain 1992 under controversy. Picasso apparently wanted it to be in the Prado .His family opposed the change of location. The conflict continued, Bilbao which is the capital of the Basque province of Vizcaya, which contains the town of Guernica, has staked a claim on the picture for its Guggenheim museum. Since it belongs to the Spanish state it isn't going anywhere.
There are several rooms with Picasso's work as well as Dali, including The Great Masturbator and the Enigma of Hitler.
There are temporary exhibitions, see part 2 for more. Open Mondays 10am-9pm. Closed Tuesdays. Wednesday-Saturday 10am-2.30pm. Free on Saturdays from 2.30pm-9pm and free all day Sunday. Atocha metro was closed when we were there.
As I said they also have temporary exhibitions here. One of which we loved so much that we went back with our friends again to see it and to show them.
The exhibition entitled Lives in Photography-Edward Steichen on until the 22nd September 2008 was okay, but the best exhibition is maquinas & almas souls & Machines) digital art and new media which is on until the 13th October 2008. It explores the fact that at the beginning of the 21st century art and science run along parallel paths. The use of robotics, information display and biotechnologies makes it very interesting, I really recommend that you see this. To give you a taster look at the virtual tours of MNCARS exhibitions www.museoreinasofia.es,
Not that we don`t like museums or art, but getting off from the rainy dutch weather was a main point to worn out our feet in the sun. So we weren`t really prepared to an art evening and didn`t know anything about expos amd, we ended up here by chance getting off from the rain and it was really a good chance. We enjoyed the huge Picasso expo, took our time and didn`t feel so bad for not visiting El Prado. Next time there will be time a good chance for that too :)
The Reina Sofía museum is situated on The St Charles old general hospital. Is dedicated to contemporary art, with spanish and foreing works that coming from the old contemporary museum and the own adquisition that the new museum has done. The most important works are Dalí, Miró and Picasso with the master piece "El Guernica".
El museo Reina Sofía está instalado en el antiguo Hospital General de San Carlos. Está dedicado al arte contemporáneo, con obras tanto españolas como extranjeras que proceden de las colecciones del antiguo MEAC y de las propias adquisiciones que ha hecho. Las más importantes son las obras de Dalí, Joan Miró y Picasso con el Guernica.
Inaugurated in 1992, el Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía - as it is officially called - displays modern and contemporary art from as early as 1900 until today. It is housed in an 18th century building that once was a hospital, at the southern end of Paseo del Prado. Modern glass additions were made to the structure when it was converted into a museum. The impressive art collection boasts works by many celebrated artists such as Miró, Solana, Dalí and of course Picasso, including his most famous work el Guernica.
This is a great museum that has a large collection of Spanish art. There are Picassos, Dalis, Miro’s, and much, much more. The most famous painting here is Guernica, by Picasso. It is an amazing representation of the Spanish civil war and seeing it in person (it’s huge) is a must. The building has 4 floors, with the first floor carrying temporary exhibits. Entrance is 6 euro (3, with a student ID) and the building is open until 9 pm (another reason why it’s a great museum).
Like every average tourist in Madrid I wanted to see Picasso's Guernica. And I have to admit that besides this famous painting I didn't know anything about the permanent collection of Reina Sofia. Once I entered the building I realized that I'm going to spend quite some hours there.
We walked into a garden first, where we saw Juan Miro's "Pajaro Lunar". It looked like a sculpture of a cow to me, but Ursula said that the name means " Moonbird" or something similar. I looked at it one more time and strated moving towards the museum as I heard some guy says to his partner "Look honey it's a cow". Thanks for saying it pal, I already began thinking that I'm a complete m o r o n when it comes to modern art.
I started with Juan Miro's works and soon it turned into my first Spanish lessons. Slowly moving from painting to painting I learned my first words and was able to do the translation myself. My vocabulary expanded to "Mujer" "Hombre" and "Pajaro".
Then we moved to the hall with Dali's works, which I really admire. And then we saw Picasso's Guernica. You really have to see it to realize how dramatic, emotional, and violent it is. Guernica was like a magnet that forced me to stand infront of it without a single move for a good few minutes.
Besides the collections by world's famous modern art painters we also managed to see some temporary exhibitions. We were especially impressed by Chuck Close's works who uses some special painting techniques for his portraits. His art can be seen in different museums all over the US, in case you're interested.
Three hours weren't enough to see it all, but I was already overwhelmed and couldn't take more. I have to go back.
Don't skip Reina Sofia when you visit Madrid. Especially if you want to see Guernica. It was announced that the painting will never move from its place again, to prevent further damage to the masterpiece.
The museum is closed on Tuesdays. Free entrance is on Saturdays starting 2:30 pm and Sundays starting 10 am. On other days admission is 6 Euro.