Page 11 - Contemporary Art and Old Masters
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The Museo del Prado Room 49, Italian painting galleries, The Cardinal,
         Raphael©Museo Nacional del Prado

         The Museo del Prado was founded by Ferdinand VII and   notable in recent years are the donation of the Várez Fisa
         opened to the public in 1819. Installed in the building   collection (2013), which has enriched and completed the
         designed by Juan de Villanueva in 1785 to house the Natural   Prado’s holdings of Spanish medieval and Renaissance art;
         History Collection, the Royal Museum, as it was then called,   the acquisition of the Juan Bordes Library (2014), one of
         became the first art museum in Spain and one of the   the most important worldwide for the study of the human
         earliest public museums in Europe.                   figure; the Plácido Arango donation, which remains with the
         The Prado’s collection encompasses painting from the   owner for lifetime use and comprises 25 works by Spanish
         12th to the early 20th centuries, in addition to an extensive   painters and European artists working in Spain between the
         collection of classical sculpture, the decorative arts, prints,   16th and 19th centuries; and the acquisition of The Virgin of
         drawings and photographs. The large number of works by   the Pomegranate from the Alba family collection, together
         Velázquez, Goya and Rubens makes the Museum’s holdings   with the personal donation made by the Duke of Alba,
         of these three artists the largest and finest in the world.   Carlos Fitz-James Stuart y Martínez de Irujo, of The Funeral
         Similarly, the Prado possesses the largest collection of   of Saint Anthony Abbot, both by Fra Angelico (2016), which
         works on paper by Goya.                              have made the Museum an international reference point for
         Among the great masterpieces of European painting to   the study of that Florentine artist.
         be seen in the Museum are The Descent from the Cross   The Prado’s numerous activities and the size of the
         by Rogier van der Weyden, The Garden of Earthly Delights   collection have meant that the building has been
         by Jheronimus Bosch, The Nobleman with his Hand on his   extended on various occasions over the course of
         Chest by El Greco, Las Meninas by Velázquez, and The   its history. Following the opening of the most recent
         Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808 by Goya.  extension visitor figures progressively rose to the 2.7
         The Museo del Prado’s collection continues to grow   million achieved for the first time in 2007 then reached a
         through annual acquisitions and donations. Particularly   new record of 3,033,754 visitors in 2016.

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