Puerta del Sol, 28013 Madrid Spain

How on Earth did so many paintings arrive to the Prado Museum?

I can say I’ve been to the British Museum and to the Louvre, which are commonly said to be the most famous in the word. But despite others’ opinions, the Prado Museum will always be my favourite. All of these museums have dark stories about the way they assembled their collection (especially thanks to plundering others nations), so this time I’ll tell you how on Earth did so many paintings arrive to the Prado Museum.


Las Meninas

Let’s go back to the 1500’s, the years of emperor Charles V, who commissioned an important number of works of art to famous painters of his age. That was the beginning of the Royal Collections, which grew with every king. That way, incredible master pieces were acquired, such as Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Velazquez’s Meninas, Ruben’s Three Gracesand many others.

In the last years of the 1700’s, the Crown commanded the construction of a building that would be a natural sciences cabinet. Nevertheless, it turned into the National Prado Museum, which opened its doors in 1819 with the pieces that formed the Royal Collections. Later, other works from the Museum of Trinity and the Modern Art Museum would join the Prado too. You should know that it has also received donations of private collectors (like Goya’s Black Paintings) and it has also bought certain pieces, like Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day.


The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day

That’s how the Prado Museum has assembled such a huge and especially such a beautiful collection. You could spend a whole day just admiring Ruben’s paintings or whichever other artist’s that you like. The Museum is so rich that it is worth it to visit it in a tour. Only someone who really knows it can tell us about its most precious treasures and its darkest secrets.

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