The Prado in Madrid and the Hermitage in St Petersburg, Russia are two of the world’s greatest museums. This past year marked the Spain-Russia Dual Year, so these two world-leaders of culture got together and agreed on a bit of an exchange program. Until March 26, 2012, you can see 170 treasures from the Hermitage at the Prado ranging from archaeological treasures to decorative arts to paintings and sculpture from the 5th century BC through to the 20th century.
The richness of the astounding collection at the Hermitage is well-represented in this Prado exhibition. There are gold belt buckles and hair ornaments from the 3-4th century BC; snuff boxes, vases, clothing and furniture from the era of Russia’s Tsars in the 18th and 19th centuries; and paintings, drawings and sculpture by artists including Durer, Caravaggio, El Greco, Velazquez, Rubens, Van Dyck, Hals, Poussin, and Canova all the way through to Cezanne, Gaugain, Picasso, and Matisse – it is a survey of some of the world’s best artists from history. For this blockbuster exhibition, the Prado will, for the first time, be open 7 days a week (previously the gallery closed on Mondays.)