If you're expecting the Louvre or the Museo del Prado, expect to be disappointed. But remember where you are--on the grounds of a monastery complex that's nearly a millennium old. And remember that this little museum has neither billionaire donors nor a staff that's 100 strong. In fact, it is curated by a monk who is resident at the monastery. Then be humbled at the thought that next to the biggest site of pilgrimage in Catalunya lies a building with a small but astonishing array of works by world-class artists from Picasso, Renoir, Caravaggio, Dali and El Greco. Yes, in many cases there are only one or two pieces by them, but then ask yourself: have you ever seen a monastery with such a collection? I certainly haven't.
For those who are aware of the centrality of Montserrat in the modern history of Catalunya, this is also an opportunity to get acquainted with some a number of modern Catalan artists.
Most of the readers who are disappointed in this museum came in expecting to see a hundred Monets. That may be the fault of advertising or, as likely, unrealistic expectations. This is a lovely collection in a simply unrivaled setting.
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