While I have been fortunate enough in my life to have visited many famous art museums, there is a favorite one I don’t hear much about. The Louvre is spectacular and the Musée d'Orsay, also in Paris, is brilliant. Austria’s Leopold Museum hosts exhibits from all over the world and presents them in a manner as enticing as any of the European great locations. The Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia in Florence make it impossible for art lovers not to return.
However, I do have a personal favorite. In the heart of Spain’s Capital, across the road from the famous, and also spectacular, Prado Museum in Madrid sits the little-publicized Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, housed in the beautiful Palace of Villahermosa. The Thyssen boasts the second-largest private art collection in the world, and bridges the historical gaps in the respective collections of the Prado and Reina Sofía museums.
Begun in the 1920s, the amassed treasures of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon include works by Flemish and Dutch painters like Jan Van Eyck and Albrecht Dürer, Renaissance and Baroque greats such as Titian, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, and Rembrandt, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Vincent Van Gogh, twentieth century masterpieces by Picasso, and many, many more that will not be found in the famous, lauded museums.
This place is a treasure in itself, just beautiful in its design and surroundings. The access is super easy compared to some of the larger establishments, very reasonable, and the art is displayed in a manner easy for non-experts to enjoy.
Those of you who live in Europe and have never visited the Thyssen, be sure to put it on your bucket list. Those visiting Spain for the first time can find a memory at this location outside of the touristy world of other famed museums. It is a must-see!
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