Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum Collection
A secret convoy of two trucks containing 51 rare works of art slipped out of Kyiv early last Tuesday, hours before waves of Russian missiles began raining down on the capital and other cities across Ukraine.Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid's museum, which soon will host the Ukrainian modernism temporary exhibition, houses one of the largest private collections in the world.
With more than 1,600 paintings on display, the collection traces the history of European painting from the Middle Ages to the global art of the late 20th century. Italian primitives, the German Renaissance, 19th-century American art, Impressionism, and German Expressionism are widely represented schools and movements within the museum walls.
The collection is the result of the late Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza’s passion for purchasing works to add to the collection that he inherited from his father, Baron Heinrich. Initially loaned to Spain for 9,5 years, it was eventually bought by the Spanish state in 1993.
A visit to the museum offers a wonderful opportunity to study the periods that are underrepresented in other Spanish museums: the finest examples of late medieval art are represented by the artworks created during the Trecento (14th century in Italy), works by Early Netherlandish artists, and an exquisite collection of 15th-century portraits are housed in the museum. Works by Dürer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Frans Hals and Canaletto trace the path of European art between the 16th and 18th centuries.
Here the visitors have an opportunity to view both landscape and genre art, which was particularly popular in the Dutch school of the 17th century and amongst 19th-century American artists. These paintings also inspired Romantic painters, such as Friedrich, Impressionists like Monet and Degas, and Post-Impressionists, like Gauguin and Van Gogh, all of which are represented in the museum’s collection.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Madrid's museum boasts important 20th-century avant-garde works: fauvism, expressionism, surrealism, abstraction and pop art. ‘Harlequin with a Mirror’ by Picasso, ‘Picture with Three Spots, No. 196’ by Kandinsky, ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate a Second before Awakening’ by Dali, ‘The Cock’ by Chagall, ‘Hotel Room’ by Hopper and ‘Woman in Bath’ by Lichtenstein are only a few to name.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum hosts from 29 November to 30 April the most complete study of Ukrainian modern art to date, with an exhibition “In the Eye of the Storm. Modernism in Ukraine, 1900-1930”, curated by Kostiantyn Akinsha, Katia Denysova and Olena Kashuba-Volvach.