Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum – Virtual Tour
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is part of the “Golden Triangle of Art,”” which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza collection with over 1,600 paintings includes works from the Italian, English, Dutch and German schools, plus 20th century European and American paintings.
Virtual Tour of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- “Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” by Domenico Ghirlandaio
- “Galathea” by Gustave Moreau
- “Portrait of Henry VIII of England” by Hans Holbein the Younger
- “View of Vessenots Near Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh
- “The Falls of St. Anthony” by Albert Bierstadt
Highlights Tour of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
“Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” by Domenico Ghirlandaio
“Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni” by Domenico Ghirlandaio portrays Giovanna degli Albizzi, a Florentine noblewoman. She died in childbirth, giving birth to her second child in 1488, and this painting was painted after her death.
Her husband, Lorenzo Tornabuoni, was deeply stricken by grief and commissioned this portrait of his wife to commemorate and honor her memory.
This panel is a powerful example of the late 1400’s Florentine portraiture. Giovanna has been identified as the subject of this portrait, thanks to her other named portraits, where she has the same hairstyle.
There is also a medallion showing her likeness and her name. Giovanna is depicted in a traditional profile pose, which was favored due to its association with ancient coins and medallions.
The portrait followed the classical style of the period when the body proportions were idealized, and the faces conveyed character without expression.
“Galathea” by Gustave Moreau
“Galathea” by Gustave Moreau depicts sea-nymph in a languid pose, reclining in the foreground. She is set in a rocky landscape with lush, exotic plants inspired by marine plants.
The Cyclops Polyphemus is depicted as a crouching giant observing Galatea from a distance. The painting’s brilliance and richness of textures derive from Moreau’s unique method of applying the paint pigment.
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin. The symbolist painters used mythological and dream imagery.
In painting, symbolism can be seen as a revival of some mystical tendencies in the Romantic tradition and was close to the self-consciously morbid and private decadent movement.
“Portrait of Henry VIII of England” by Hans Holbein the Younger
“Portrait of Henry VIII of England” by Hans Holbein the Younger depicts the famous Tudor king in luxurious style endowed with considerable psychological depth. It is one of the iconic images of Henry and is one of the most famous portraits of any British monarch.
Holbein uses the frontal pose and positions his hands to convey the sitter’s forceful personality and royal bearing.
Portraiture was the most popular genre in sixteenth-century England, and Holbein was one of the few available, talented artists following the schism between the Church of Rome and the Church of England.
Hans Holbein the Younger, originally from Germany, had been appointed the English King’s Painter in 1536.
This painting shows Henry as young and healthy when, in reality, he was in his forties and had been severely injured earlier that year in a jousting accident.
The wound festered chronically for the remainder of his life and became ulcerated, thus preventing him from maintaining the level of physical activity he had previously enjoyed.
“View of Vessenots Near Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh
“View of Vessenots Near Auvers” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the landscape of ‘Les Vessenots,’ on the outskirts of Auvers. Van Gogh shows a village of country cottages with thatched roofs placed just below a raised horizon in the background.
In the foreground, wheat fields dominate the composition with swaying trees on the borders. The bright greens and yellows applied with thick brushstrokes follow a repetitive, undulating rhythm, which was characteristic of van Gogh’s final works.
Van Gogh painted many landscapes in the weeks before his death; he was always working outdoors. The expanses of fertile fields gave him a sense of freedom, but at the same time, he felt melancholy and loneliness.
Van Gogh painted his landscapes from life, but he shows us a personal view and creates a new and unique visual form for his impressions of what he sees.
In May 1890, Vincent van Gogh traveled to a small village thirty-five kilometers north of Paris where Doctor Paul-Ferdinand Gachet, the physician, and art collector, lived.
Theo van Gogh, the artist’s brother, had entrusted the care of his brother to the doctor at the recommendation of Camille Pissarro.
“The Falls of St. Anthony” by Albert Bierstadt
“The Falls of St. Anthony” by Albert Bierstadt depicts the falls as they appeared before any human intervention and the introduction of the spillway. The natural falls were replaced by a concrete overflow spillway in 1869.
The composition shows in its foreground several Native Americans and a hatted figure with a walking stick speculated to be Louis Hennepin, discoverer of the falls.
Father Louis Hennepin (1626 – 1704) was a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order and an explorer of North America’s interior.
The Falls of Saint Anthony is northeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They are the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. In the 1950s and 1960s, a series of locks and dams were constructed to extend navigation upstream.
The falls are named after the Catholic Saint Anthony of Padua. The towns of St. Anthony and Minneapolis, which had developed on the east and west sides of the falls, merged in 1872 to fully use the falls’ power for milling operations.
- Name: Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
- Spanish: Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
- City: Madrid
- Established: 1992
- Type: Art Museum
- Location: Paseo del Prado, 8, Madrid, Spain
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Discover the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid
“The habit doesn’t make the monk.”
– Spanish Proverb
Photo Credit: 1) Luis García [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons