Reina Sofia Museum
The Reina Sofia is an art museum located in Madrid, Spain. It is one of the main places to visit in Madrid. The building of the museum was built in the 18th century. The most famous masterpiece in the museum is Pablo Picasso’s “Guernica” which is one of the most renowned paintings of the 20th century.
When the Reina Sofia building as first completed is was to use as a hospital and it was not until 1992 that it was converted into a museum. It added to the art treasures that could be displayed for the pleasure of visitors to Madrid. It’s modern remodeling involved adding two glass lifts on the outside of the building. In 2005, the architect Jean Nouvel designed an extension and the completed building was officially called the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. It received many of its exhibits from the nearby Prado and hence could claim to be an important center for contemporary and modern art. There are four floors in the Museum, two for temporary exhibitions and the other two displaying paintings categorized as Abstract, Pop or Minimalist. Arguably its most famous painting is Picasso’s ‘’Guernica’’ which hung in a New York Gallery until 1981 to follow the artist’s wishes that it should not be shown in Spain until democracy was restored.
The Reina Sofia Museum was delighted to receive Picasso’s ‘’Guernica’’ which was originally commissioned by the Spanish Government. Its theme is a protest during the Civil War and it was for display at an exhibition in Paris. It was moved from the Prado to become the highlight of the new museum. His ‘’Woman in Blue’’ is another that art lovers make for when visiting Reina Sofia. Salvador Dali, Jose Solana, Francis Bacon and Miro are other artists whose work is on display. Miro’s ‘’Portrait II’’ is probably the most important surrealist exhibit in the Museum. Dali’s ‘’Landscapes at Cadies’’ was painted by Dali in 1923 when he spent some time there that summer. Jose Solana’s piece is ‘’The Gathering at the Café del Pombo’’ where Madrid intellectuals regularly gather. Bacon’s ‘’Reclining Figure’’ is also on display. A Henry Moore sculpture also attracts significant attention. In many ways, this museum is seen as a symbol of the restoration of democracy in Spain despite the fact the original building was planned as the General Hospital from the time it was designed by Jose Augustin de Hermosilla in 1756 and continued by the Frenchman Francesco Sabatini a century later. It was a hospital until 1968 when the building was closed. It deteriorated as a result but was bought by the Ministry of Education in 1976 with plans for it to become a cultural center. Its modern-day history began from there with democracy being restored a decade later. As well as all the paintings on display, there is a library that specializes in 20th Century art and archives. In all there are around 1,000 periodicals and more than 10,000 volumes in the library. The shop in the museum has an excellent range of pottery and design goods. It is open for 6 days a week, Tuesday the exception and there are only 8 more days in the year when it closes. If you have a Madrid Card, you will get free entry to Reina Sofia while there is also the Paseo del Arte Card that covers the Museum. Pensioners, children and teachers are among those who are welcome for free entry. All ages visit the Reina Sofia while they are in Madrid with many locals visiting time and again. It would be a shame to miss it even if you are not an art devotee. It might just be the place to convert you.