Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza


Paseo del Prado, 8
Tel: (+34) 914-203-944

Metro: Banco de España

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 7pm.

Closed Mondays. The ticket office closes at 6:30pm.

The Museum is closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.

The Museum will be open from 10am to 3pm on December 24 and 31.


"The Thyssen" as it's more commonly known is the definitive art collection, despite the presence of the Prado and Sofia galleries nearby.  The attraction of the Thyssen is it's excellent compact layout and the fact that the chronological order of the displays means one can spend two to three hours  strolling from medieval through the Dutch masters, American , Impressionists to the latest works. The highlight at the Thyssen is the collection of impressionist and post-impressionist works. It is astounding to find work after work by Lautrec, Van Goch, Cezanne, Renoir, Pisarro, Monet, Matisse - many others all in a small alcove - so much it literally takes one's breath away. 

The Impressionists painters include Claude Monet, John Sargent Singer, Camille Pissarro, Pier-August Renoir, Berthe Morisot, Alfred Sisley, Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Paul Gauguin, Maximilien Luce, Childe Hassam, William Merritt Chase, and Joaquin Sorolla.

The Post Impressionist painters include Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, Henri Edmond Cross, Paul Serusier, Henri Le Sidaner, Pierre Bonnard, and Maurice Prendergast.

The Fauve painters include Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, Andre Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, Georges Braque, and Robert Delaunay.

The Expressionist painters include Edvard Munch, Ernst Kirchner, Wassily Kandinsky, Max Pechstein, Franz Marc, August Macke, and Emil Nolde.

What is enjoyable in the museum is the quiet atmosphere that is conducive to art appreciation. The Prado is too big, too crowded, and too noisy. The Reina Sofia is too modern and has little of the figurative art that many enjoy. Also a practical place to visit - cloakrooms and a gift shop with great quality items. This museum has the best gift shop of any museum in Madrid. It has a huge assortment of art books, both in Spanish and English. There are also all sort of quality art souvenirs.

Another thing about the Thyssen is that it is a beautifully designed museum, with pink marble floors and warm colors on the walls. The Palacio de Villahermosa was chosen for this museum and the famous Spanish architect Rafael Moneo (Pritzker Prize winner for achitecture) designed it, keeping the façade of the old palace intact, but redesigning completely the interior. Moneo also designed the new annex containing the Carmen Cervera Collection and cafeteria. The annex does not clash with the façade of the old palace.

When one goes to the Thyssen, one may not notice that there are two collections there, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collections. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection was sold to the Spanish government by the Baron Thyssen, while the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection is the personal collection of Carmen Cervera, the widow of the baron. The latter collection is on loan to the museum. Carmen Cervera is popularly known in Spain as Tita Cervera.

Carmen Cervera is planning to open three new museums in the next few years, in Malaga, Barcelona, and Seville. These museums will be related to the Thyssen and will be like franchises. The new museums will show Carmen's art collections. The Malaga Museum is set to open in 2009 and will show her Spanish and Andalusian Collections. The Barcelona museum will show her Catalan Collection. The Seville Museum will also show her Spanish Collection. Carmen Cervera is now one of Spain's largest art collectors and has been buying some of the best Spanish art on the market.