Considered one of the top five museums in a country that has a staggering number of museums and great paintings, the Museo de Bellas Artes is like a mini-Prado, with representatives from every Spanish school and movement from the 12th through the 20th centuries. The museum's fine collection of Flemish, French, Italian, and Spanish paintings includes works by El Greco, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, Diego Velázquez, Zurbarán, José Ribera, Paul Gauguin, and Antoni Tàpies.
One large and excellent section traces developments in 20th-century Spanish and Basque art alongside works by better-known European contemporaries, such as Fernand Léger and Francis Bacon. Look especially for Zuloaga's famous portrait of La Condesa Mathieu de Moailles and Joaquín Sorolla's portrait of Basque philosopher Miguel de Unamuno. A statue of Zuloaga outside greets visitors to this sparkling collection at the edge of Doña Casilda Park and on the left bank end of the Deusto bridge, five minutes from the Guggenheim. Three hours might be barely enough to appreciate this international and pan-chronological painting course. The museum's excellent Arbolagaña restaurant offers a stellar lunch to break up the visit.
Oct 25, 2010
Definitely a must-see in Bilbao. The collection spans the 13th century - now in a layout that complements the art. There are sculptures and works around every corner, so don´t miss the nooks and crannies for some wonderful surprises! The audio tour is worth the 1 euro fee as and covers the masterpieces in the permanent collection. The Museo de Bellas Artes Bilbao is a beautiful experience.