Museo Nacional Reina Sofía

Calle Santa Isabel 52 Madrid

34-91-774-1000

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Lovers of modern art should reserve an afternoon for the galleries at the Reina Sofía. The museum, housed in an 18th-century hospital, opened in 1992 and then expanded in 2005 with a striking addition designed by Jean Nouvel. Although the Reina Sofia is known for its collection of work by Juan Gris, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, its biggest star is Picasso’s Guernica. The mammoth painting—eleven feet tall and twenty-five feet wide—depicts the destruction of the town of Guernica by German and Italian bombers during the Spanish civil war. It debuted to create critical acclaim in 1937 and remains a remarkable depiction of individual suffering in war.

The remainder of the museum’s permanent collection is divided into sections that include prime examples of Cubism, Surrealism, abstraction and Pop Art. Although the majority of the artists shown are Spanish, the exhibits include wonderful pieces by Max Ernst, Cy Twombly and Mark Rothko, as well. The museum also features contemporary multimedia installations, sculpture and photography by Bill Viola, Anish Kapoor and Robert Mapplethorpe.

Written by Henley Vazquez

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