FINE ARTS MUSEUM Museo de Bellas Artes – Seville

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After Madrid’s Prado, the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville is considered to have the 2nd most important collection of fine art in Spain. The museum’s highlights are local Andalusian paintings from the 19th century and Baroque paintings from the 17th century. There are paintings from several famous artists such as Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Velázquez, Goya and El Greco. In addition, the museum is housed in a 17th century convent that has some beautiful architecture. It is the perfect setting for such a collection of art.

OPENING TIMES

Tuesday to Saturday: 9am to 9pm
Sundays & holidays: 9am to 3pm
Mondays: closed
Closed: Jan 1, Jan 6, May 1, Dec 24-25, Dec 31

PRICE

Adults: 1.5€
Free: all EU citizens with accreditation

ADDRESS

Plaza del Museo 9, Sevilla

VIEW MAP
Exhibition in the convent's church – Fine Arts Museum, Seville
Exhibition in the convent's church

EXHIBITION ROOMS

The Museo de Bellas Artes is composed of 14 exhibition rooms. It is recommended to visit them in chronological order.

Rooms 1 to 4: The birth of Sevillian art, from the Christian reconquest in 1248 to the arrival of Baroque in the beginning of the 17th century.

  • Room #1: Spanish Medieval art
  • Room #2: Renaissance art
  • Room #3: Works of Francisco Pacheco and his students
  • Room #4: Small masterpieces
Dome of the convent's church – Museo de Bellas Artes, Seville
Dome of the church

Rooms 5 to 10: Sevillian Baroque pantings from the 17th century.

  • Room #5: Sevillian Baroque displayed in the church of the convent
  • Room #6: Sevillian Baroque
  • Room #7: Works of Murillo and his students
  • Room #8: Works from Juan de Valdés Leal
  • Room #9: European Baroque
  • Room #10: Works from Zurbarán

Rooms 11 to 14: Paintings from the 18th to the 20th century.

  • Room #11: Spanish & Sevillian art from the 18th century
  • Room #12 & 13: Art from the 19th century. Romanticism & Realism portraits, landscapes and scenes from daily life
  • Room #14: Sevillian paintings from the first half of the 20th century
Claustro de los Bojes in Seville's Fine Arts Museum (Museo de Bellas Artes), Spain
Claustro de los Bojes

THE CONVENT & MUSEUM

The Museum of Fine Arts was originally built in the 17th century as a convent called the Convento de la Merced Calzada. It is one of the best examples of Late Renaissance (Mannerism) architecture in Andalusia. The structure is comprised of 3 main patios/cloisters:

  • Claustro del Aljibe - This is the most modest of the patios and is where the monks lived. In the center there is an aljibe (water cistern) which collected rain water to supply the convent.
  • Claustro de los Bojes
  • Claustro Mayor - This is the most impressive of the patios.

Other highlights from the building include the main facade, the imperial staircase with its dome and the church which is the star of the museum. Besides being the most beautiful room in the museum, the church also contains works from the most important Sevillian Baroque painters such as Murillo, Herrera el viejo, Roelas and Zurbarán.

Exhibition room at Seville's Fine Arts Museum – Spain
Exhibition room

In 1835, more than 200 years after its construction, the building was taken by the government during the Confiscations of Mendizábal and turned into a Museo de Pinturas (Museum of Paintings). Over the next several years, more items were confiscated from the church and re-purposed in the museum. It wasn’t until the 20th century when the museum grew much larger thanks to donations from private collectors.

THE MUSEUM'S MOST IMPORTANT WORKS

Retrato de Jorge Manuel (Portrait of Jorge Manuel) – El Greco (1603)
Retrato de Jorge Manuel (Portrait of Jorge Manuel) – El Greco (1603)

It was once believed that this was a self-portrait of El Greco himself but today it’s thought that the painting is of his only son, Jorge Manuel.

Santas Justa y Rufina (St. Justa and Rufina) – Murillo (1666)
Santas Justa y Rufina (St. Justa and Rufina) – Murillo (1666)

The two saints appear holding the Giralda Tower. Sevillians believed that the cathedral and Giralda didn’t collapse during the earthquake from 1504 because these two saints were protecting it.

Retrato de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer) – Domínguez Bécquer (1862)
Retrato de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Portrait of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer) – Domínguez Bécquer (1862)

Portrait of the famous poet painted by his brother. Great example of the Romanticism epoch (passionate, melancholic, dramatic, etc.)

La Colosal, Inmaculada Concepción (The Colossal, Immaculate Conception) – Murillo (1652)
La Colosal, Inmaculada Concepción (The Colossal, Immaculate Conception) – Murillo (1652)

Early work of Murillo representing the virgin, in a scene full of movement and dynamism.

San Hugo en el refectorio (St. Hugo in the refectory) – Zurbarán (1598 - 1664)
San Hugo en el refectorio (St. Hugo in the refectory) – Zurbarán (1598 - 1664)

Represents a miracle that occurred in 1084 in the Cartuja de Grenoble.

La Virgen de las Cuevas (The Virgin of the Caves) – Zurbarán (1630 - 1635)
La Virgen de las Cuevas (The Virgin of the Caves) – Zurbarán (1630 - 1635)

Ordered by the Cartuja de Santa María de las Cuevas. It represents the spiritual principles of the Cartusian monks: silence, devotion to the virgin and the importance of fasting.

Retrato de don Cristóbal Suárez de Ribera (Portrait of don Cristóbal Suárez de Ribera) – Velázquez (1620)
Retrato de don Cristóbal Suárez de Ribera (Portrait of don Cristóbal Suárez de Ribera) – Velázquez (1620)

One of only two works from Velázquez in the museum. Portrait of Don Cristóbal Suárez de Ribera, a clergyman from Seville who founded a brotherhood dedicated to San Hermenegildo.

Las Tentaciones de San Jerónimo (The Temptations of St. Jerónimo) – Valdés Leal (1657)
Las Tentaciones de San Jerónimo (The Temptations of St. Jerónimo) – Valdés Leal (1657)

San Jerónimo coils in pain so as not to be tempted to look at the courtesans who are engaged in provoking him.

Retrato del canónigo D. José Duaso y Latro (Portrait of Canon D. José Duaso y Latro) – Goya (1824)
Retrato del canónigo D. José Duaso y Latro (Portrait of Canon D. José Duaso y Latro) – Goya (1824)

This portrait was painted by Goya in gratitude to the Aragonese canon D. José Duaso who housed allies fighting against Napoleon during the Peninsular War.

Las Cigarreras (The women who make cigarettes) – Gonzalo Bilbao (1915)
Las Cigarreras (The women who make cigarettes) – Gonzalo Bilbao (1915)

Scene of female workers at a tobacco factory, showing a maternal scene and the camaraderie among all the workers.

Sevilla en fiestas (Celebrations in Seville) – Bacarisas (1915)
Sevilla en fiestas (Celebrations in Seville) – Bacarisas (1915)

Modernist painting reflecting the Sevillian beauty through three women prepared to enjoy the city’s fiesta.

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