The Prado Facts

The Prado Facts
The Prado, or Museo del Prado, is Spain's national art museum, located in the country's capital city Madrid. The museum opened for the first time on 1819, in a building that had been originally designed for other purposes in 1785. Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza encouraged her husband Ferdinand VII to repurpose the building to become the Royal Museum of Paintings and Sculptures. The museum was first known as the Royal Museum, then the National Museum of Painting and Sculpture, and finally the Museo Nacional del Prado. When it opened the collection of paintings was roughly 1510, and today it contains 7600 paintings. There are also 1000 sculptures in the museum's collection.
Interesting The Prado Facts:
The Prado was designed by architect Juan de Villanueva as commissioned by Charles III (Carlos III) to give Madrid a type of Natural History Museum.
The construction of the Prado was interrupted during the Napoleonic Wars, and completed in 1819.
The word 'prado' means 'meadow' and the museum was named as such because it location, which used to be market gardens.
The Museo del Prado is one of three museums in Madrid that make up the Golden Triangle of Art. The other two museums are Museo Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
The Museo del Prado's original collections were rooted in the Bourbon and Habsburg monarchs in Spain. For centuries these collections were added to and when the Prado opened the collections had grown to more than 1500 paintings.
When the Prado published its first catalogue in 1819 it only included 311 Spanish paintings. There were many more but the museum was focusing on Spanish work.
The Museo del Prado houses work from famous artists such as Francisco de Goya, Raphael, Peter Paul Rubens, Velazquez, El Greco, Murillo, Francisco de Zurbaran, Jose de Ribera, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese, Rembrandt, Nicolas Poussin, Antoine Watteau, Claude Lorrain, and Hieronymus Bosch.
100 years after it officially opened, the Museo del Prado had run out of space in the original structure. An addition was added to the building.
In the 1950s and the 1960s additions had to be made to the Museo del Prado again.
Two buildings were added to the Museo del Prado, enlarging the complex even more as the years went on to house the growing collection. These buildings are the Palacio de Villahermosa and the Cason del Buen Retiro.
The Museo del Prado's collection is so large that only 1/7th of the collection is on display at any given time.
A new wing, designed by Rafael Moneo, was completed in 2007, adding more than 235,000 square feet to the Museo del Prado.
In 1981 Pablo Picasso's painting Guernica, created in 1937, was added to the Museo del Prado's collection. In 1992 it was moved to Museo Reina Sofia as Museo del Prado wished to focus on work created in the 1800s or earlier.
In 2014 the Museo del Prado allowed a collection of Italian masterpieces to be shown in Melbourne, Australia. Many of the pieces in the collection had never left Spain before.

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