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Information on the Avenue of Art in Madrid

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The Avenue of Art

The 'Avenue of Art', located in el Paseo del Prado is doubtless unique. Along this stretch of elegant tree-lined boulevard, set in one of the most typical parts of Madrid and spaced within easy walking distances of one another, are three of the leading art galleries in the world: the Prado, Thyssen Bornemisza and Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Museums.

Where else but along el Paseo del Prado could one have the chance of seeing art of the calibre of The Maids of Honour (Las Meninas) by Velázquez, Goya's Maja Nude and Maja Clothed, "Giovanna Tornabuoni" by Ghirlandaio, "Les Vessenots en Auvers" by Van Gogh and Picasso's Guernica, to name but a few of the myriad masterpieces on display?

The Prado Museum contains the world's finest collection of Spanish paintings, including masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez, Goya. Paying attention to the great artists of Spain's Golden Age (Siglo de Oro): Ribera, Zurbarán and Murillo, The Flemish School is represented by Van der Weyden and Hieronymus Bosch, among others; there`s also samples of the Italian art with the most complete collection of Titian and artists of the Venetian School, as well as German, French and English works on display, though fewer in number, are equally superb examples of their kind.

The pictures lacking in El Museo del Prado, are splendidly displayed in the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, well endowed with Italian Primitives works. There are also excellent examples of German Renaissance and Dutch 17th-century paintings and 19th-century American ones, virtually non-existent elsewhere in Spain. From the first stirrings of modern art, as seen in lmpresssionism, up through the harsher years of German Expressionism and Russian Constructivism, to experiments with Geometric Abstraction and the tongue-in-cheek irreverence of Pop Art… all are represented in this wide-ranging retrospective that is the Thyssen Collection.

Leaving the other two galleries behind, our last call brings us to one of the most famous and, in its time, controversial masterpieces of this century: Picasso's Guernica, now hanging in el Centro de Arte Reina Sofía National Museum. The permanent collection here is primarily made up of Spanish painting and sculpture: Picasso, Gris, Miró, Dalí, Chillida and Tápies, along with newer contemporaries. It is definitely a single cultural walk.

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