This museum is a contrast to the modernity of the Guggenheim, displaying another kind of art, which would be out of place in the newer of the two museums.
The collection at the Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao is composed of four main sections: old art, contemporary art, Basque art, and to a lesser degree, small displays of applied art. Its origin is to be found in the amalgamation of the collections from two museums: the first Fine Arts Museum, inaugurated in 1914, and that of the Museum of Art Modern, dating back to 1924.
Numerous donations by institutions, private individuals as well as acquisitions by the Museum itself have determined the essential traits of the collection and its growth pattern . The Fine Arts Museum of Bilbao is noted for the diversity its collection, including works from a variety of artistic disciplines and a wide-ranging time scale. Currently boasting over 6,000 works, the impressive collection Includess paintings, sculptures, sketches, engravings and decorative art, spanning a time period from the 12th century until today.
Among the works, one can find “Les Laveuses à Arles” by Paul Gauguin, “La Condesa de Noailles” by Zuloaga, “San Sebastián curado por las Santas Mujeres” by Jose de Ribera, “Signo y materia” by Antoni Tapies, the sculpture “El Profeta” by Pablo Gargallo and other works of great artistic value.
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