Although the Prado Museum has centuries of art history, the Reina Sofia Museum is limited to only the past hundred or so years and yet it is still just as fascinating.
For modern art lovers this is one of the best museums in the world. There are few art galleries that offer such a wide collection of modernist painters from around the world in one place.
Located in the “Golden Triangle of Art” in Madrid (this includes the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza), the Sofia has one of the best collections of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali, Spain’s most famous, ground-shattering and influential painters, side by side.
The museum is pretty easy to spot. It is the massive building with two glass towers bordering in the front entrance. Admission is quite reasonable at six Euros, however there are discounts available as well.
The Sofia is open every day from ten in the morning until nine at night (seven on Sundays), except Tuesdays, when it is always closed.
In its twentieth year open, the Sofia was inaugurated in 1992 and since then has gained a reputation for becoming the foremost progressive museum in Spain. This is because its mission is quite different than other museums.
The Reina Sofia Museum tries to avoid the commercialized idea of a museum and instead tries to engage their visitors in a thoughtful dialogue as they witness numerous perspectives of art history.
The museum is also an archive, which offers free access to its massive library. Here, documents, books, journals, sound recordings, videos and photos are all on display for the public’s study. The library is home to over one hundred thousand books!
This museum should not be missed if you are an art lover visiting Madrid. Along with a vast collection of Picasso’s work and Dali’s work there are many other famous Spanish painters from the 20 th Century with their work on display including Juan Gris, Joan Miro, Pablo Gargallo and Julio Gonzales, among many others.
But this gallery is not limited to Spanish painters and has many important works by international painters like Max Ernst, Georges Braque and Francis Bacon. Guernica, by Pablo Picasso, is the arguably the most famous work in the museum.
This 1937 oil painting is one of the most important cubist pieces ever made, releasing an important anti-war message in response to the atrocities of the Spanish Civil War.