Part two of the world’s greatest art galleries and museums takes us to the USA, Spain and Italy to discover more of the fabulous buildings and art that exist all over the planet. The art exhibited in these galleries is exceptional and so are the buildings themselves, some have unique histories and are the main story behind the museum and art gallery. We start this artistic tour in Italy with one of the most mysterious and religious places, Vatican City.
The Vatican Museums – Italy
The Eternal City boasts some of the most historical and important art and architecture in the world, and the Vatican is at the very heart of Rome. Strictly speaking The Vatican is actually a State, as well as being the headquarters of Roman Catholic Church. It is a treasure trove of architecture and also art, and there are an amazing twenty-two different collections that make up the Vatican Museums. They display one of the greatest works of art on the planet, the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo, as well as the Pinacoteca which is the famous picture gallery. Perhaps the most famous gallery is the Museo Pio-Clementino, which contains spectacular classical sculptures. As well as you might expect there is an abundance of religious art, there is also the ancient Egyptian exhibits and great works of the Etruscan period. Be sure to visit the Raphael Rooms which is full of art created by the great master himself, Raphael.
The Prado – Spain
Madrid is renowned around the world for the amount of fantastic art galleries and museums it is home to, and one of the most famous is The Prado. This museum is particularly abundant in artistic jewels due to its royal benefactors the Spanish Royal Family. Over the decades and centuries, Spanish kings and queens have lavished commissioned art on The Prado.
The Prado abounds with works from all the Spanish superstars, such as Goya, Velazquez, Zurbaran and Ribera. It also houses many examples of fine Italian artists like Raphael and Titian and great works by the Flemish artists. The architecture of The Prado is stunning, built in the neoclassic style by Juan de Villanueva. Most visitors to this great art gallery head for The Three Graces painted by Rubens.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – USA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the biggest art gallery in the Western Hemisphere. Not only is the building colossal it is home to over more than two million exhibits covering work from around the entire world, including contemporary pieces right back to works from antiquity. If the world had to send a museum in a time capsule to show other planets our art and history, it would be The Metropolitan Museum of Art. European art is well represented with some stunning examples from Rembrandt, Botticelli, Rodin, Degas and Vermeer. There is also a superb Egyptian collection, and of course many pieces by American artists. Perhaps the engraving by Albrecht Durer of Adam and Eve is the most famous work at The Met. These three remarkable art institutions are very different, but they have one thing in common and that is they are custodians of some of the finest art on the planet.