MADRID – Madrid’s Prado Museum, which hosts one of the largest collections of classical art in the world, launched on Monday the countdown to its bicentennial with a special exhibition celebration its 199 years of existence.
King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia were set to inaugurate “Museo del Prado: a place of memory,” at the gallery to commemorate its founding in 1819.
“It offers a survey of the museum’s history that focuses on the dialogue between the Museum and society; heritage policies in Spain; the trends that have guided the growth of the museum’s collection and its transformation into a place that has allowed Spanish and foreign writers, intellectuals and artists to reflect on the country’s past and its collective identity,” organizers said on the museum’s website.
The Prado today forms part of Madrid’s so-called Golden Triangle of Art due to its proximity to the Reina Sofia modern art museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Senior curator Javier Portus selected the exhibition’s artwork.
The exhibition is to display a total of 168 artworks and includes photographic reproductions, billboards, books, illustrations, graphs, maps, and audiovisual presentations.
The Prado is also to unveil the façade “dressing” that will cover the main building as it undergoes a substantial museum facelift.
Fifteen large canvases, measuring 11,000 square meters (118,400 square feet) will boast large-scale reproductions of resident grandmasters such as Velazquez, Rubens or El Greco.