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“A Hidden Gem of a Museum” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando

Museo de la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
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$76.26*
and up
Madrid Segway City Tour
Ranked #59 of 742 things to do in Madrid
Certificate of Excellence
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Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
3,468 reviews
3,090 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3,060 helpful votes
“A Hidden Gem of a Museum”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2011

This museum has many works of art by the best Spanish artists such as Goya and Sorolla. Very few people go to this museum because it seems to be off the beaten path, but they are missing one of the best fine arts museums in Madrid. The collection they have is one of the best.

Visited December 2010
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Oxford, England
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402 reviews
245 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 323 helpful votes
“Quite expensive”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2010

I went here as it was very close to my hotel and I wanted to fill in some time before going to the airport. I felt the entry at EUR5 was quite expensive as only floor 1 and part of floor 2 where open. There are however some really wonderful paintings there and good descriptive panels in Spanish and English. As well as paintings there are some interesting wax carvings and a diorama.

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1 Thank Amanda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
510 reviews
225 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 311 helpful votes
“Hidden Gem.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2010

We visited this museum in mid March 2010. We were surprised as there wasn't but a handful of people in the place which was great for us because we could take our time looking. It is only about a 10 min. walk form Puerta del Sol. Cameras without flash are permitted which is amazing as it was the only museum that we came across in Madrid that would allow you to take pictures. Also, being a smaller museum you enjoy the time that you were there which made for a nice experience.

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Thank TACOB0B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen County, New Jersey
Level Contributor
182 reviews
93 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 231 helpful votes
“Most overlooked museum in Madrid”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 17, 2009

This must be the most underrated museum in Madrid. It's unquestionably #4, after the big 3. But they have a superb collection, in an older but still beautiful Baroque palace. The 3 Euro admission (November, 2009) is much less than the big 3, but the displayed collection fills three very large floors. Note that admission for temporary shows in separate buildings may not be included in the fee for the permanent collection. The weekday we visited, we were often alone with a guard in the rooms. The top floor was closed, so we didn't see the modern works. But you could easily spend 3 hours here.

There are a few three-dimensional works, including some plaster casts, but it's mostly oil paintings. It's true that there are more secondary-level paintings shown here than are kept on display at the other museums in Madrid. I didn't actually count, but I think I saw 200 paintings, and at least half of them were significant works you'll be glad you got to see. Bellas Artes is particularly strong in paintings by Zurbarán ("Still Life with Lemons", and many riveting portraits of monks and clerics, close to Ingres in impact), Rubens (..."Susannah and the Elders"-different version from the Borghese Gallery's), and Goya. There are also some Italian paintings that Italy would love to have, like Giuseppe Arcimboldo's "Spring".

I can imagine you saying, "Well, the Prado has so many Goyas, why do I need to see a few more?" But Goya was a member of this Academy, and they have about twenty paintings of his on the walls. Unlike the Prado, I didn't see a lot of his politics, death, and revolution here. Bellas Artes has many of his "Children's Games" series, portraits like "La Tirana", and "Burial of the Sardine". The last is a madrileño favorite, representing a fable-festival that endures today.

This building includes some large and entirely separate collections, like a research library, an archive, and a map and print collection. We didn't have time to check them out. It was a very pleasant and rewarding visit. Although the building is not as exotic as the two Madrid Convents (...for example) that attract a lot of visitors, the Bellas Artes art collection leaves them in the dust.

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1 Thank obsoperator
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Mount Holly, New Jersey
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97 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Not the Prado!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2005

Plan about 15 to 20 minutes to see this museum. Small collection but OK.

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Thank George O
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