There’s a very good reason why the Museo del Prado is today’s Google Doodle.
The central Spanish national art museum in Madrid is a wopping 200 years old today and is considered the home of some of the finest European art in the world.
The museum was founded in 1819 and contains huge collections of art dating back to as early as the 12th century.
It was designed on the orders of Charles III of Spain but was not made into a museum to house cultural artifacts until the reign of Ferdinand VII of Spain after encouragement from his wife Queen Maria Isabel de Braganza.
Having previously housed the collection of the Spanish royal family, it was nationalised upon the deposition of Isabella II of Spain in 1868, with enlargements to the building taking place in 1918 to house the growing collection of art.
During the Spanish Civil War , some art had to be removed for its safety, initially moving to Valencia and then Girona and finally to Geneva, while more were moved to France following the outbreak of World War Two.
Many paintings were also housed in embassies following the rise of nationalist dictator Francisco Franco.
The museum currently contains around:
- 8,200 drawings
- 4,800 prints
- 7,600 paintings
1,000 historic documents
The most prominent artist to be featured in the museum is iconic Spanish romantic painter Francisco Goya.
Due to the high esteem the Madrid museum is held in, the Museo del Prado is one of the most heavily visited in the world.
Have you been to the Museo del Prado? Let us know in the comments below.