Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Madrid, Spain

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an art museum in Madrid, located near the Prado Museum on one of city's main boulevards. It is known as part of the 'Golden Triangle of Art', which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries. The Thyssen-Bornemisza fills the historical gaps in its counterparts' collections: in the Prado's case this includes Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools, while in the case of the Reina Sofia it concerns Impressionists, Expressionists, and European and American paintings from the 20th century.

The collection was started in the 1920s as a private collection by Heinrich, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon. In a reversal of the movement of European paintings to the US during this period, one of the elder Baron's sources was the collections of American millionaires coping with the Great Depression and inheritance taxes. In this way he acquired old master paintings such as Ghirlandaio's portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni and Carpaccio's Knight. The collection was later expanded by Heinrich's son Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza (1921–2002), who assembled most of the works from his relatives' collections and proceeded to acquire large numbers of new works (from Gothic art to Lucien Freud).

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum officially opened in 1992.



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Founded: 1992
Category: Museums in Spain


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

R S (4 months ago)
A superb museum. This is a collection that ranges all the way through a really long period of time, inclusive of medieval art, the Renaissance, and through to modern art. It also tells the story very well. It was a pleasure to walk these galleries and see some genuine masterpieces in the collection. Facilities are great. Good toilets, good outdoor café, and interesting temporary exhibitions too that compliment the permanent collection. Cannot recommend enough and out of the ‘Big 3’ museums in Madrid, this is only second behind the Reina Sofia and a significantly better experience than the Prado.
Sonja Zaric (10 months ago)
One of the highlights in Madrid. Beautifully curated collection of modern and classic art. I suggest to go from the top floor and then down. I did it opposite and was a bit confused to go back in time. Definitely recommend if you like Dutch masters and contemporary artists like Kandinsky and Mondrian.
Omer Schwartz (12 months ago)
Beautiful drawings! As a person who is "not that much into art" I had a lot of fun and was very impressed. From what I read, they have the second biggest private collection in the world, with more than 1600 paintings/drawings. I saw different (styles?) of painting and it was beautiful. Take in account that the museum is big, and that for some of the paintings there is an explanation, so I recommend to go with headphones.
nickleout (13 months ago)
I liked this museum a lot because, apart from the wide variety of paintings it has, there is also a companion app called "Second Canvas Thyssen Museum" which lets you see very high resolution pictures of quite a few paintings and also tells you all about its history and characteristics. At the time I was there, there was a temporary exhibition about Georgia O'Keeffe, which was also very nice and informing. All in all, a cool museum that has also been able to incorporate some modern features to its experience. I would recommend that you visit even if you "aren't really a paintings kind of person" (like me) because there are certainly some paintings which are worth visiting on their own.
Sally Veall (14 months ago)
I have been here several times for special exhibitions but the main collection is definitely worth seeing. It's a well presented art gallery and museum with a cafeteria, upper level food area, gift shops and a pretty garden at the entrance. The Cartier diamond exhibition some years ago was probably the best I have seen anywhere
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