The highlight of this museum of 20th-century art is Picasso’s Guernica . There are, however, other major works by influential artists, including Miró and Dalí. The collection is housed in Madrid’s former General Hospital, built in the late 18th century. Major extensions, designed by Jean Nouvel, were inaugurated in 2005, allowing a new arrangement for the permanent collection. The glass buildings include two temporary exhibition rooms, a library, a restaurant, a café, an art shop and an auditorium.
6, 14, 19, 27, 45, 55, 86.
10am–9pm Mon, Wed–Sat, 10am–2:30pm Sun.
1 & 6 Jan, 1 & 15 May, 9 Nov, 24, 25 & 31 Dec, some pub hols.
(free Sat pm & Sun).
Glass and steel façade of Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
The permanent collection is in the Sabatini Building, arranged around a courtyard. The displays of 20th-century art occupy the second and fourth floors, with rooms allocated to important movements such as Cubism and Surrealism on the second floor. The fourth floor shows artists from the late 1940s to the present day, including representatives of Pop Art, Minimalism and more recent tendencies. Two temporary exhibition rooms are located in the Nouvel building.
The most famous single work of the 20th century, this Civil War protest painting was commissioned by the Spanish Republican government in 1937 for a Paris exhibition. The artist found his inspiration in the mass air attack of the same year on the Basque town of Gernika-Lumo, by German pilots flying for the Nationalist air force. The painting hung in a New York gallery until 1981, reflecting the artist’s wish that it should not return to Spain until democracy was re-established. It was moved here from the Prado in 1992.