With a focus on Andalucian paintings some 230 works, the personal collection freely given by one of the world’s foremost art collectors, Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, is housed in the former 16th century Villalon palace with its traditional colonnaded patio.
Refurbished at a cost of €20million and opened in 2011, the attractive white space with many restored original details is home to works by some of Spanish art’s greatest names, including Zurbarán, Zuloaga and Sorolla. Not all works are Spanish, though, and the museum stages many temporary exhibitions as well as specific festival and children’s events.
If you want to impress with your knowledge of Spanish painting and its historical context, you can enjoy an audio or guided tour, otherwise just stroll and admire art in four sections: Old Masters (13th-17th century); Romantic Landscape and Costumbrismo; Précieux and Naturalist; and Fin de Siècle.
You will inevitably find the building drawing your attention too with its period features and modern interpretations, diverting you to look inside at the art and out over the historical heart of the city.
The museum’s gift shop is worth browsing with well made items themed to reflect the collection, along with books and toys.
General admission is €6 for the permanent exhibition, €4 for temporary exhibitions or a combination ticket for €8 (for concessions and exhibition details go to www.carmenthyssenmalaga.org The ‘Andalucía Romántica’ ticket is €12 but also gives entrance to the Museo del Vino Málaga and Museo de Artes Populares, and is valid for five days. Carmen Thyssen museum is closed Mondays (except when a bank holiday), December 25 and January 1, and opens from 10am to 8pm Tuesday to Saturday.