The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (in Spanish, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, named after its founder), or simply the Thyssen, is an art museum in Madrid, Spain, located near the Prado Museum at one of city's main boulevards. It is known as part of the "Golden Triangle of Art", which also includes the Prado and the Reina Sofia national galleries.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza fills the historical gaps in its counterparts' collections: in the Prado's case this includes Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools, while in the case of the Reina Sofia it concerns Impressionists, Expressionists, and European and American paintings from the second half of the 20th century.
With over 1,600 paintings, it was once the second largest private collection in the world after the British Royal Collection. A competition was held to house the core of the collection in 1987-88 after Baron Thyssen, having tried to enlarge his Museum in Villa Favorita, searched for a location in Europe.
The collection was started in the 1920s as a private collection by Heinrich, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon. The collection was initially housed in the family estate in Lugano in a twenty-room building modelled after the Neue Pinakothek in Munich. In 1988, the Baron filed a request for building a further extension designed by British architects James Stirling and Michael Wilford, but the plan was rejected by the Lugano City Council.
The Old Masters were mainly bought by the elder Baron, while Hans focused more on the 19th and 20th century, resulting in a collection that spans eight centuries of European painting, without claiming to give an all-encompassing view but rather a series of highlights.
One of the focal points is the early European painting, with a major collection of trecento and quattrocento (i.e. 14th and 15th century) Italian paintings by Duccio, Taddeo Gaddi, Lorenzo Monaco, Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, and his contemporaries, and works of the early Flemish and Dutch painters like Jan van Eyck (Diptich of the Annunciation), Petrus Christus, Rogier van der Weyden, and Hans Memling.
Other highlights include works by leading Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo painters, including Antonello da Messina (Portrait of a Man), Fra Bartolomeo, Giovanni Bellini and Titian, Tintoretto.
These are Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by the artists Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Pierre Bonnard, Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Gauguin, Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh, as well as twentieth century Cubist works by Picasso and Braque, and works by Edvard Munch, Egon Schiele, James Ensor, Kandinsky, Salvador Dalí, Paul Klee, Chagall, Magritte, Piet Mondrian, Edward Hopper, Jackson Pollock, Roy Liechtenstein, Willem De Kooning and Francis Bacon. The selection of German Expressionism is extensive, and includes Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, August Macke, Max Beckmann, George Grosz, Otto Dix.