The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao
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Located near the Euskalduna Palace and the Guggenheim Museum, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum stands as a silent witness to the city next to Doña Casilda Park. It houses more than seven thousand pieces, including paintings, sculptures, works on paper and applied arts, dating from the 13th century to the present day. It is notable for its varied collections which together encompass ancient, modern and contemporary art.

The origins of the present museum date back to the creation of the first Museum of Fine Arts in 1908, which was subsequently inaugurated in 1914. At the same time, the Museum of Modern Art opened in 1924. These two institutions and their valuable collections were merged in 1945, coinciding with the construction of the original building that houses the museum today.

The original building houses its permanent exhibition, while temporary exhibitions share space on the ground floor of the extension, which includes a café, a shop and a new foyer that opens onto the park. On the roof there is a restaurant with a small viewing terrace from which to enjoy views of the surrounding area.

On 10 July 2023, the “The Invited Work” programme was inaugurated at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, presenting several works by Joaquín Sorolla in commemoration of the anniversary of his death. This programme, which has been running since 2001, allows outstanding national and international collections to be exhibited. Among the works invited in this edition is “Bajo el toldo, playa de Zarauz”, a key piece illustrating Sorolla’s influences on the coasts of the Basque Country. It is complemented by drawings, photographs and elements that delve into the painter’s artistic perspective.

In addition, a week later, the museum presented two works from the Multiverse programme, entitled “El trayecto” and “The Track”, by Mabel Palacín. These works were made thanks to the Multiverse Grants for video art and digital art and were created using the camera system of a prototype autonomous vehicle equipped with sensors.

In this way this emblematic museum brings together past and future so that both can be witnessed at the same time, allowing visitors to soak up more than 700 years of art in one place.