Table of contents:
- Founder of the collection
- History of the creation of the museum
- New premises
- Collections and exhibits
- Collection management
- 21st century at the museum
- Tours, address, ticket prices
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: visitor reviews
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is an internationally renowned art collection that is part of the "Golden Triangle" of museums in the Spanish capital, Madrid. It is less well known, but contains over 1,000 pieces. His collection spans a large time period, from Italian painting of the 13th century to contemporary pop art.
Founder of the collection
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza was founded by one of the we althiest art aficionados, Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza de Cason, who collected paintings and sculptures over the years.
He inherited his first art collection from his father, August Thyssen, along with thriving oil and shipbuilding businesses. It consisted of a collection of paintings by European masters of the XIV-XIX centuries. His brothers also received part of the inheritance in the form of paintings, but Henry immediately bought them out. He then continued to add to the collection, buying more than 1,500 different pieces of art in his lifetime.
Thyssen-Bornemisza had a stormy personal life: he had 5 wives, namely:
- Austrian Princess Teresa of Lippe-Weissenfeld, with whom he had a son and then divorced;
- Indian model Nine Sheile Gyor, who became the heir to the lands in Ceylon, also received a French estate after a divorce;
- British model (born in New Zealand) Fiona Cambeo-W alter, with whom we had 2 children;
- daughter of a Brazilian banker Liana Shorto, who gave birth to his son;
- Maria Carmen Cervera, who won the title of Miss Spain in 1961.
After his father's death, his son and heir Hans Heinrich (1921-2002) began to supplement the collection, who significantly expanded it by adding works by European artists of the 13th-20th centuries. Sculptures and other works of art have been purchased.
History of the creation of the museum
After moving to Switzerland, the Thyssen-Bornemisza family opened a private gallery that has gained worldwide fame. The art collection was kept for many years in the city of Lugano (Switzerland), at Villa Favorito, however, gradually growing, it ceased to fit there. In addition to paintings, Hans began to buy jewelry and ceramics, antique furniture, tapestries and other decorative items.
To get to the gallery, tourists had to cross the lake by boat. In the 1980s, the baron announced a search for a suitable building to house the collection, but the local authorities refused to help him. Then the governmentSpain made a proposal to host all the exhibits in the castle of Villahermos (translated from Italian as “beautiful villa”), which was located next to the famous Prado Museum in Madrid.
For many years, the castle hosted musical meetings and salons, where famous musicians performed: F. Liszt and others. The Spanish wife of Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, a fashion model and Miss Catalonia in 1961, fully contributed to this decision. A long-term lease agreement was signed for $50 million, under which 665 paintings were placed in the Villahermos castle (Palacio de Villahermosa) and became the basis of a museum in Madrid, and 72 were transported to the Pedralbes monastery (Barcelona). The grand opening of the museum was attended by the family of the Spanish king.
In 1993, most of the collection of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum was purchased by the Spanish government for $350 million (it is believed that its current value is estimated at $700 million).
After the death of her husband, Baroness Thyssen-Bornemisza continues to replenish the collection. 200 exhibits bought by her are exhibited in one of the halls of the museum.
In 2004, after the expansion of the museum's collection, it became necessary to build a new building. In addition to the 3-story castle, a new one was erected nearby, built in a modern style. It is here that regular exhibitions, scientific and educational seminars, cultural events are held.
Thanks to the efforts of the Artistic Director and Museum Administrationestablished strong relationships with other museums around the world. Thus, mutually beneficial cooperation between Madrid and Moscow has been established for many years, allowing the cultural institutions of both cities to periodically exchange works of art for display and exhibitions.
Collections and exhibits
Every year more than 1 million art connoisseurs visit the museum. Together with the Prado and the Reina Sofia Museum of Art, it is rightfully one of the "Golden Triangle", the top three most popular art galleries in Madrid (Spain).
There are more than 500 paintings in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. They are arranged by halls in chronological order.
One of the symbols of the museum is a beautiful portrait of G. Tornabuoni, the Italian master D. Ghirlandaio, who is considered an example of the Florentine Quadrocento style. This also includes well-known works that are recognized as masterpieces of the collection: “A Man with a Clarinet” (1911) by P. Picasso, “A Painting with 3 Spots” (1914) by V. Kandinsky, “St. Carolina" Caravaggio.
The halls display works by Flemish artists, impressionists and avant-garde artists. The most expensive painting in the collection is P. Gauguin's "Old Times" (1892), estimated at 150 million euros. There are also paintings by S. Dali "A dream inspired by the flight of a bee …" (1944) and others.
The collection of the museum in Madrid includes numerous works of European painting from different eras, from the Renaissance to modern masters.The canvases are presented in various styles: impressionism, realism, expressionism, mannerism, baroque, primitivism and gothic. Walking around the collection, you can trace the entire rich history of various art forms step by step.
Represented paintings on religious subjects, portraits and landscapes, mystical and realistic scenes of world-famous artists: El Greco, Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Degas, Modigliani, Picasso, Renoir, Salvador Dali and many others. In 4 rooms there is also a collection of American paintings of the 19th century.
In the 1960s, Hans Heinrich, expanding the accessibility of art to all viewers, constantly organized traveling exhibitions: the collection was exhibited in many countries of the world, including museums in Australia, Japan and the Soviet Union.
As agreed by Moscow and Madrid in 2006, the museum successfully hosted the exhibition "Russian avant-garde", where everyone could get acquainted with the origins of this trend in Russia in the first third of the 20th century. The works of Chagall, Kandinsky and Filonov were presented here.
For many years after her husband's death, the collection was managed by his widow, Maria del Carmen Rosario Cervera. Nearly 700 exhibits from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, with the permission of the widow, were transferred to replenish the funds of the National Museum of Art in Barcelona, her hometown. The paintings are now exhibited at the Chateau de Villon and will remain there under contract until 2025
Besides providing an opportunity to admire the works of the art collection,the former Miss Spain sometimes sells paintings to other private collections (New York, etc.) in order to improve her financial situation. However, under the terms of the agreement with Spain, Maria del Carmen can only deal with paintings within 10% of the value of the entire collection, estimated by experts at 800 million euros.
21st century at the museum
In the new millennium, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is pursuing a policy of engaging all people with new achievements. Special applications for electronic gadgets, pages in social networks, etc. have been developed. The museum's own website has been created, which is regularly updated, informing art lovers about exhibitions and the composition of the collection.
All these innovations are designed to interest everyone in the collection of works of art, to please those connoisseurs who cannot regularly visit the museum itself. For this, the possibility of a virtual inspection of some rooms and paintings is proposed.
Tours, address, ticket prices
Address of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Madrid, Paseo del Prado, 8 (city centre). Opening hours: from 10.00 to 19.00, daily from Tuesday to Sunday.
Ticket price: 8-12 euros. On Monday, the museum is open from 12.00 to 16.00, admission is free.
Regularly, the museum hosts various exhibitions (paid separately at a rate of 6 to 17 euros), which are open daily until 19.00, and on Saturday - until 21.00.
Children under 12 are admitted free of charge, discounts are provided to pensioners and students, the disabled, etc.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: visitor reviews
Reviews of tourists about visiting the museum are the most enthusiastic. They testify that the presented main exposition and various exhibitions were to the taste of many connoisseurs of art. At the entrance to the museum, many tourists take pictures in a picturesque small park, where palm trees and beautiful ornamental shrubs are planted.
There is a souvenir shop on the territory where you can buy memorable gifts (pens, notebooks, painting catalogs, posters, etc.). Nearby is a cafe with an outdoor terrace, which offers a beautiful view of the city.