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Carmen Thyssen Museum Málaga - Museums

Carmen Thyssen Museum Málaga

Carmen Thyssen Museum Málaga

The permanent collection rooms at the Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum offer a journey through Spanish art of the nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, with special emphasis on Andalusian landscape painting and traditional scenes. The works belong to Baroness Carmen Thyssen’s private collection – more than 200 pieces, including a fine selection of works of the Old Masters (thirteenth to eighteenth centuries).

The collection
Opened on 24 March 2011, the Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum invites visitors to explore the rooms laid out across three floors, showing Romantic Landscapes and Traditional Scenes, Préciosité and Naturalism, and Turn-of-the-Century Art. Thus, the journey shows the evolution of Spanish painting in the nineteenth century, from Romantic landscapes and scenes to alfresco paintings that make free use of colour and technique, in anticipation to the avant-garde movements of the twentieth century.

Romantic landscapes and traditional scenes (ground floor)
This section gathers fine examples of two of the main themes explored by Spanish romantic painters in the first half of the nineteenth century. Under the influence of foreign travellers, artists shaped the view of the country shared by the likes of Dehodencq, Bamberger, Pérez Villaamil, Barrón and Domínguez Bécquer, among others. The way they understood monumental and natural landscapes and traditional customs, wrapped in their fascination with the exotic and the unknown, shaped the evolution of landscape and traditional scene painting in the early decades of the nineteenth century.

Old Masters (first floor)
In addition to nineteenth-century art, the Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum offers a brief selection of religious painting and sculpture from the Old Masters – Spanish and European artworks from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. Highlights include one of Baroque master Francisco de Zurbarán’s St Marina canvases.

Préciosité and Naturalism (first floor)
In the second half of the nineteenth century, artists renewed their interest in landscapes and everyday scenes, taking a different perspective. More colour, more spontaneous brushstrokes and more technical freedom characterise the paintings from this period, as shown by the works of Carlos de Haes, Mariano Fortuny and Raimundo de Madrazo. In the case of landscapes, artists got away from idealised visions and took actual nature as their model, working al fresco and producing more realistic images. The result was the modernisation of Spanish painting.

Turn-of-the-century art (second floor)
While Realism enabled Spanish artists to leave Romanticism behind, the turn-of-the-century atmosphere ushered them to the final turn in the renewal of Spanish painting. This section in the museum shows works by Regoyos, Casas, Sorolla and Julio Romero de Torres, among others, as the representatives of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century art in Spain. They laid the foundations of modern art and the avant-garde in terms of subject, technique and creative freedom.

The museum building
The Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum is housed in the Villalón Palace, a sixteenth-century stately home that makes the core of the museum complex. With time, new buildings were added.

As in other old buildings in Málaga, Roman ruins were excavated during the rehabilitation works. They are thought to belong to a suburban villa lying beyond the city walls, to the northwest of the Roman city of Malaca, in an industrial area where fish preserves were made. The villa included a residential area, industrial facilities and even a shop selling fish products. Among the ruins there is a fountain from the late first century AD (in operation until the mid-fifth century) and what could be a nymphaeum, decorated with mural paintings. The archaeological site is being rehabilitated to be opened to the public soon.


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