The 12 Most Famous Artworks at The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, located in Madrid, Spain, is home to an impressive collection of art spanning over seven centuries. From Renaissance masterpieces to modern and contemporary works, the museum offers a diverse and captivating experience for art enthusiasts. In this article, we will explore the 12 most famous artworks at The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, delving into their dimensions, location, creation date, genre, medium, and period.

1. “Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” by Domenico Ghirlandaio

Dimensions: 62.7 x 47 cm (24.7 x 18.5 in)
Location: Room 3.10
Created: 1490-1495
Genre: Portraiture
Medium: Tempera on wood
Period: Renaissance

Domenico Ghirlandaio’s “Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” is a striking example of Renaissance portraiture. Painted between 1490 and 1495, the artwork depicts Giovanna Tornabuoni, a member of the powerful Florentine Tornabuoni family. Ghirlandaio, known for his skilled portrayal of the Florentine elite, captures the sitter’s elegance and wealth. The vibrant colors and intricate details showcase the artist’s mastery of the tempera technique.

2. “Les Vessenots” by Vincent van Gogh

Dimensions: 60 x 73 cm (23.6 x 28.7 in)
Location: Room 3.16
Created: 1889
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Post-Impressionism

Vincent van Gogh’s “Les Vessenots” is a mesmerizing landscape painting that exemplifies the artist’s unique style. Created in 1889 during his stay in the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise, the artwork showcases his expressive brushwork and vibrant color palette. Van Gogh’s intense use of contrasting colors and bold strokes creates a sense of dynamism in this picturesque scene.

3. “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer

Dimensions: 44.5 x 39 cm (17.5 x 15.4 in)
Location: Room 3.3
Created: 1665
Genre: Portrait
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Dutch Golden Age

Johannes Vermeer’s “The Girl with a Pearl Earring” is undoubtedly one of the most iconic artworks in the world. Painted in 1665, this enigmatic portrait showcases Vermeer’s mastery of light and composition. The girl’s enigmatic gaze and the subtle play of light on her face draw viewers into a world of mystery and intrigue. The delicate handling of the pearl earring and the rich colors make this artwork a true masterpiece.

4. “The Annunciation” by Jan van Eyck

Dimensions: 93 x 37 cm (36.6 x 14.6 in)
Location: Room 3.2
Created: 1434-1436
Genre: Religious painting
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Period: Northern Renaissance

Jan van Eyck’s “The Annunciation” is a breathtaking example of Northern Renaissance art. Created between 1434 and 1436, this religious painting depicts the biblical scene of the Annunciation in intricate detail. Van Eyck’s meticulous technique, exemplified by the intricately rendered architecture and textiles, sets this artwork apart. The masterful use of light and reflection gives the scene a sense of divine radiance.

5. “The Cardsharps” by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Dimensions: 94.5 x 131 cm (37.2 x 51.6 in)
Location: Room 3.6
Created: 1594-1595
Genre: Genre painting
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Baroque

Caravaggio’s “The Cardsharps” is a captivating genre painting that showcases the artist’s talent for dramatic lighting and realistic depiction of human emotions. Created between 1594 and 1595, the artwork portrays a scene of card playing, with the young man in the foreground being deceived by a cunning cheat. Caravaggio’s use of chiaroscuro and his ability to capture the expressions of the figures make this painting a testament to his innovative style.

6. “The Execution of Maximilian” by Édouard Manet

Dimensions: 252 x 305 cm (99.2 x 120.1 in)
Location: Room 3.5
Created: 1867-1868
Genre: History painting
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Realism

Édouard Manet’s “The Execution of Maximilian” is a powerful history painting depicting the tragic execution of the Mexican Emperor Maximilian and two of his generals in 1867. Painted between 1867 and 1868, this monumental artwork portrays the event with brutal realism. Manet’s bold brushwork and somber color palette intensify the dramatic impact of the scene, conveying the sense of injustice and violence.

7. “Harlequin with a Mirror” by Pablo Picasso

Dimensions: 162 x 97 cm (63.8 x 38.2 in)
Location: Room 4.2
Created: 1923
Genre: Cubism
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Cubism

Pablo Picasso’s “Harlequin with a Mirror” is a stunning example of Cubist art. Painted in 1923, during Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism phase, the artwork portrays a harlequin holding a mirror. This fragmented representation of the figure and objects demonstrates Picasso’s innovative approach to space and form. The vivid colors and dynamic composition showcase the artist’s mastery of this revolutionary art movement.

8. “Impression, Sunrise” by Claude Monet

Dimensions: 48 x 63 cm (18.9 x 24.8 in)
Location: Room 3.9
Created: 1872
Genre: Impressionism
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Impressionism

Claude Monet’s “Impression, Sunrise” is an iconic painting that gave birth to the Impressionist movement. Created in 1872, this artwork showcases Monet’s fascination with capturing the effects of light and atmosphere. The loose brushwork and the subtle play of colors evoke a sense of immediacy and convey the transient nature of the scene. This painting captures a momentary impression of the port of Le Havre, inspiring both awe and introspection.

9. “Madame De Pompadour” by François Boucher

Dimensions: 204 x 157.5 cm (80.3 x 62 in)
Location: Room 3.4
Created: 1758
Genre: Portraiture
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Rococo

François Boucher’s “Madame De Pompadour” is a lavish portrait of the renowned mistress of King Louis XV of France. Painted in 1758, this Rococo masterpiece portrays Madame De Pompadour with elegance and grace. Boucher’s soft brushwork and delicate depiction of the sitter’s attire highlight the opulence of the Rococo period and the sitter’s prominent social status.

10. “The Bath of Venus” by François-Clément Bidault

Dimensions: 199.5 x 264 cm (78.5 x 104 in)
Location: Room 3.8
Created: 1740-1750s
Genre: Mythological painting
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Rococo

François-Clément Bidault’s “The Bath of Venus” is a large-scale mythological painting that captures the romantic sensibilities of the Rococo era. Created in the 1740-1750s, this artwork portrays Venus, the goddess of love, being attended by a group of playful putti. The artist’s skillful rendering of the flowing fabrics and the delicate use of color create an atmosphere of sensuality and elegance.

11. “The Green Bridge II” by Marc Chagall

Dimensions: 192 x 175 cm (75.6 x 68.9 in)
Location: Room 3.11
Created: 1944-1945
Genre: Surrealism
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Modernism

Marc Chagall’s “The Green Bridge II” is a surrealist masterpiece that showcases the artist’s dreamlike and whimsical imagery. Created between 1944 and 1945, this artwork depicts a fantastical scene, with a green bridge connecting two distant lands. Chagall’s vibrant colors and floating figures create a sense of enchantment and mystery, inviting viewers into his imaginative world.

12. “Unknown Lady with a Fan” by Diego Velázquez

Dimensions: 71 x 51 cm (28 x 20.1 in)
Location: Room 3.1
Created: 1632-1633
Genre: Portrait
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Baroque

Diego Velázquez’s “Unknown Lady with a Fan” is a remarkable portrait that exemplifies his mastery of light and texture. Painted between 1632 and 1633, this artwork portrays an unidentified woman holding a fan. Velázquez’s delicate brushwork and subtle use of color create a sense of intimacy and realism. The subject’s enigmatic expression adds an air of intrigue to this captivating painting.

Visiting The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum offers a unique opportunity to encounter these iconic artworks firsthand. Each of these masterpieces represents a significant artistic achievement and provides insight into the history and evolution of art. As you explore the museum’s collection, take your time to appreciate the skill, creativity, and emotion captured in these renowned works of art.

Sources:
– Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/
– Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Collection: https://www.museothyssen.org/en/collection/artists
– Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Artworks: Information provided by the museum.