Housed in a Hospital
The Reina Sofia Museum is housed in an 18th century hospital building that was remodeled into a modern building with two panoramic glass lifts standing out in the façade.
'Guernica' and much, much more
Reina Sofia Museum’s most prized possession is ‘Guernica’, a political statement on the Spanish Civil War by Picasso. Apart from Picasso's masterpiece, Reina Sofía houses a collection of over 18,000 items representing works of major Spanish artists : Dalí, Miró, Julio González, Tàpies, Alfonso Ponce de León and Antonio Saura.
The items are arranged in three major sections: '1900 -1945: The irruption of the 20th century. Utopias and conflicts', '1945 -1968: is the war over? Art in a divided world', and '1962 -1982: From revolt to post-modernity'.
:a Guernica is about the tragedies of warned its toll on innocent civilians. It depicts the killing of innocents in the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. Picasso uses monochrome colours to bring out the suffering and reminding us of the tragedy of war and our need to reach for peace.
- Exhibited around the world
The Guernica was exhibited all over the world for 19 years, raising funds for Spanish refugees affected by the war. After its tour, it was kept at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
- Retun to Spain
Picasso would not allow the painting to return to Spain until the country became truly democratic with institutions and public liberties. When that happened in 1981, the painting came back to Spain, to its current home at Reina Sofia.
Helpful information about the Museum
- The museum has a confusing layout, try and orient yourself frequently.
- The Room 206 with Picasso's Guernica is very busy, be prepared.
- Rent the audio guide, it is helpful.
- The souvenir shop deserves a visit, moments are reasonably priced.
- There is also a library with over 10,000 volumes and 1,000 periodicals, related to 20th century art.
Key HighlightsMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia is Spain's national museum of 20th century art featuring mostly works by Spanish artists. The crown jewel of the museum is unquestionably Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, the painting generally considered one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history.
Reina Sofia is one of the museums of the Madrid Art Walk. Apart from masterpieces, It also has a well stocked library related to art.
Read on for tips on how to make the most of your visit. and for the story of La Guernica.