The art is reflective of the Andalucia style
Rusko and I really canÂ´t tell enough people about how nice the Thyssen Museum is in MÃ¡laga. We went for the first time, battling a line of tourists that snaked out the door and into the narrow cobblestone street. The entry fee was a reasonable 8 euros for an adult to see both the permanent collection and temporary exhibition. And as we entered, it was clear that the museum itself was gorgeous. Visitors step into a square shaped patio surrounded by white marble pillars and sheltered by a glass roof allowing for sunlight but protecting us in case we visit on one of the few rainy days (remember, the museum IS located in MÃ¡laga).
The permanent collection contains works that represent the 19th Century in Spanish painting, especially focusing on artists from Andalucia such as ZurbarÃ¡n, DomÃnguez BÃ©cquer and Manuel Cabral Aguado. Rusko really enjoyed the costumbrista style paintings which tried to show daily life and capture the routine moments, or special events such as the fair in Sevilla. This idea of capturing something special in the day to day routine is something Rusko tries to do in his photographs, so he was even more interested in this gallery. It is also true that Rusko holds Andalucia, especially MÃ¡laga and Sevilla close to his heart (just as this writer does), so the paintings were that much more special when we spotted the Giraldillo or the Guadalquivir with the Torre de Oro.
Another gallery held paintings that showed the transition from romanticism to realism (a change reflected in the literature of the time, as well). In this gallery we were able to observe paintings by some of our favorite painters: DarÃo de Regoyos and JoaquÃn Sorolla. We continued to visit works by the Old Masters, as well as a gallery with the preciosismo style and landscapes by artists such as MariÃ¡ Fortuny. One slight criticism that we had for the museum was the fact that the names of the works were written only in Spanish. This was fine for Rusko, as he is bilingual, but he was visiting the museum with a friend who happened to speak English, and needed some help understanding the titles of the paintings.
It is important to point out that the museum itself has windows strategically placed to give visitors a great view of the roof tops in the center of MÃ¡laga. There is one floor to ceiling window that allows for a view of a church spire and the cobalt blue sky that is worthy of being framed. This can be found on the top floor as you head into the temporary exhibits. When Rusko visited, the exhibit was entitled The modern tradition in the Carmen Thyssen Collection: Monet, Picasso, Matisse, MirÃ³. The exhibit was tastefully done and included some of RuskoÂ´s favorite paintings, although he has always been partial to the fauve painters and their bright colors, so he especially enjoyed the works by Matisse.
On his way out, we stopped at the gift store, which has a huge glass front in order to create interesting displays visible to passers-by. Something that we noticed right off the bat was the fact that there were some amazing childrenÂ´s books, and literature for parents to help their children learn about art. There were also the typical post cards, and interesting little toys that Rusko always likes to look at when he goes to Museums.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to the Carmen Thyssen Museum in MÃ¡laga immensely. The galleries were just the right size, so you were not overly tired at the end of the visit, and the art was reflective not just of the Spanish style, but also of Andalucia. I think that while this might not be of interest to all visitors, it is worth having a space for the costumbrista and realistic styles, especially in a city such as MÃ¡laga that is so proud of its heritage. As someone who has grown to love Andalucia and Spain over time, as well as someone who enjoys museums and art, we ruskomend a visit to the Carmen Thyssen Museum with 4 boquerones.