The Prado Museum is a world-famous art museum in Madrid. It houses the most important and valuable collection of European painting.
The Prado Museum was established in 1819 by King Ferdinand VII of Spain, as the new home for a collection of Spanish paintings that had been assembled by his father Charles IV and confiscated by Napoleon Bonaparte.
In addition to its vast collections of European paintings, the Prado has one of the most important collections of Old Master prints in the world with more than 2,000 pieces.
There is nothing better than visiting it accompanied by an experienced guide through the Free Tours of the Prado Museum that we offer you in Guruwalk.
Around 500 of the paintings housed in the Prado can be identified as being by a single artist, Diego Velázquez, painter to the Spanish court of King Philip IV from 1623 until his death in 1660.
The painting Las Meninas ("the ladies-in-waiting") is one of Velázquez's most famous works, an oil painting depicting a young woman and her maids and attendants before they go to meet the king and queen.
The painting is often described as an "enigmatic image". Many people can look at the painting and not know what it is about.
Looking at it in detail, the painting depicts a large room with a group of people in it. There are three people at the front looking at themselves in a mirror. The meninas, or court attendants, are shown in the foreground, while the Infanta Margarita Teresa can be seen holding her father's hand and standing on tiptoe to see herself in the mirror as well. She is showing her new pearls which represent her new marital status and also symbolises her virginity because she is still young and unmarried.
This painting is really interesting because many experts are convinced that there was originally another portrait next to it.
Another of the Prado's great collections is that of Goya.
Goya was a Spanish artist widely recognised as one of the most important painters in European art history. He created more than 500 paintings, 100 drawings and 700 etchings, paintings of war scenes, landscapes and portraits.
And of course you can also see well-known works by El Greco, Rubens and Caravaggio, among others, in the Prado Museum.