Timings : October to April: Tuesday to Saturday — 10am to 6pm; Sundays and public holidays — 10am to 3pm May to September: Tuesday to Saturday — 10am to 8pm; Sundays and public holidays — 10am to 3pm Mondays closed
Time Required : 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : EUR 11.40 onwards; details below
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The National Museum of Art in Catalonia is located in the vast, Italian style Palau Nacional. One of the largest museums in Spain, the Museu Nacional is known for its extensive collection of Romanesque art, featuring works like Virgin of Ger and the Batlló Majesty. Additionally, it houses the work of great Renaissance and Baroque artists.
The museum hosts temporary exhibitions, activities and features, making it an arena for intellectual dialogue and debate. It is recommended you read about the history of the artwork before your visit to make the most of it. The Palau Nacional was declared a national museum in 1990.
Inspired by the Spanish renaissance and academic classicism, the Palau Nacional dominates the view from Placa Espanya. The artwork in the museum is said to have once hung in the rural churches of Catalonia. The museum, along with its regular collections, conducts exhibitions for adults and children around the year.
The Museu Nacional houses the most extensive collection of Romanesque art in the world. The Gothic art, combined with the Romanesque paintings depicts the splendour at the peak of the Catalan empire. The murals are incredibly unique, and most have had to be reconstructed. It also features carvings and woodwork, famous during the 11th, 12th and 13th century.
What is so unique about the National Art Museum of Catalonia's Renaissance and Baroque collection is that unlike other European museums, the pieces were not acquired from the aristocracy. Instead, they are local pieces depicting everyday struggles and is complemented by donations to the collection. It features masterpieces from the Spanish golden age such as Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by José de Ribera and Diego Velázquez’ St. Paul.
The ‘modern’ part of the museum, this area showcases work from the 19th and 20th century. It includes Catalan Modernisme artwork as well as works from the Noucentisme movement. This part of the exhibit owes its origins to the World Exhibition is 1888, devoting significant attention to neoclassical, Romantic and realist movements. In the field of photography, the museum houses incredible avant-garde work, mostly from the post-war years.
General admission: EUR 12.00 (valid for two days during a month from the purchasing date)
Combined ticket: general admission + audio guide: EUR 14.00 (buy online only)
To the Rooftop Viewpoint: EUR 2.00
Audio guide: EUR 4.00
Free of charge: Under 16 years old; Over 65 years old of the European Community; Saturdays, from 3pm onwards; the first Sunday of each month; 18 May, the International Day of Museums; 11 September, the National Day of Catalonia
From art monographs to catalogues, the Library Joaquim Folch i Torres housed within the National Art Museum of Catalonia is replete with over 150,000 volumes. Created to provide support to museum professionals and aid them in the process of search and documentation, the library has now become a widely resourceful public utility. The collection in the reading room is freely accessible to everyone, but consulting a collection from the storeroom can have a wait time of 15-30 minutes.
It also houses an archive, created in 1995 to manage the documentary collection of the institution in a standardised way.
The National Art Museum of Catalonia has a unique outreach programme under the moniker Museum as an integration space or El Museu espai comú d'integració, where it conducts several workshops and activities for children as well as adults in an attempt to integrate them more deeply into the rich culture and art of Catalonia. A popular children’s initiative is the hand of stories (Una Ma de Contes), a joint initiative between Televisió de Catalunya and Museu Nacional, which tells the story of 20 different paintings housed in the Museu Nacional’s permanent collection.
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