Museo del Prado: Three things to know about the world-class art museum as it turns 200
Google is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Museo del Prado in Madrid with a Doodle.
As the museum, widely considered one of the world’s finest collections of European art, turns its focus towards the future, it is important to consider the details that make the Museo del Prado so important.
These are three things you should know about the Spanish national art museum.
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It wasn’t a museum when it first opened
When the building was first designed in 1785 by architect Juan de Villanueva, it was used as a centre for the natural sciences.
The building did not become a public gallery until 1819, when it was repurposed by King Ferdinand VII and Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza.
The museum amassed a significant portion of its collection from donations
According to the Museo Del Prado’s website, more than 2,300 paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, and decorative art pieces have been acquired.
Many of these pieces are donated or bequest to the museum.
The collection is reportedly so large that only one-seventh is on display at any given time.
Notable artists featured in the museum include Francisco Goya, El Greco and Diego Velázquez.
The Museo del Prado is embracing diversity
As the museum enters its third century, it is “taking time to ensure that diversity is embraced,” according to the Google Doodle.
In the past year, the museum has exhibited artists from Latin America as well as women. Collections include Matrimonios de Martín de Loyola con Beatriz Ñusta y de Juan de Borja con Lorenza Ñusta de Loyola, A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana and Twelve Photographers.