The Prado Museum. A Collection of Wonders
In 2019, the year of its 200th Anniversary celebrations, telling the story of the Prado in Madrid from the day it was "founded" – that 19th November 1819 when mention was first made of the Museo Real de Pinturas - means covering not only the last 200 years, but at least six centuries of history. The life of the Prado collection began with the birth of Spain as a nation and the marriage between Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabel of Castile, a union that marked the start of the great Spanish Empire. Yet, for a long time over the centuries, painting had been a universal language that knew no boundaries. If there is one museum where it is clear that painting was not affected by nationalism, then that museum must surely be the Prado, with its eclectic and multifaceted collections demonstrating that art has no passports limiting its circulation, that rather it is a universal means to understand and convey the thoughts and feelings of human beings.