Carmen Thyssen Museum in Málaga

The Carmen Thyssen Museum was inaugurated in 2011. Located in the Palace of Villalón, it holds more than 280 works from the collection Thyssen-Bornemisza.

The building of the Camen Thyssen Museum

As already mentioned, the Palace of Villalón houses the museum. It is a Renaissance building of the 16th century. It has two floors and a central courtyard around which the rooms are arranged.

Carmen Cervera and the City Council came to an agreement. The baroness would bring her collection to Málaga and the City Council would provide it a headquarter.

Thus, the Palace was restored between 2007 and 2011. In addition to the existing building, two new ones were added. 

The museum holds the baroness collection as well as the headquarters of its foundation. Furthermore, it also holds a library,  a temporary exhibition hall and a assembly room, among many others.

It was finally opened on 24 March 2011.

The collection of the Carmen Thyssen Museum

The museum’s art collection benefits from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. It includes works from the 19th and 20th centuries.

There is a special interest in the Andalusian art, but you can also find some pieces of work by “old masters” such as Zurbarán.

The museum is divided into four sections:

  • Old masters. It includes artists from the 13th century to the 17th century such as Francisco de Zurbarán and Jerónimo Ezquerra.
  • Romantic landscape and costumbrism. It shows the two main themes of the 19th century Spanish romantic painting. On the one hand, the interpretation artists made of the landscape. On the other hand, the traditional customs.
  • Précieuses and landscape painting. It shows the development suffered by the Spanish painting during the second half of the 19th century. It became more colourful and it was also adopted a great naturalism. 
  • End of the century. This section includes some Spanish painters on the international scene of the late 19th century. Some of the exhibits are: Ignacio Zuloaga, Joaquín Sorolla, Aureliano de Beruete and Francisco Iturrino.


The most famous work made by the old masters is Santa Marina by Zurbarán. The painter from Badajoz makes a very personal representation of the saint. Her figure shines over a dark background.

She wears a black wide-brimmed hat and a white shirt with a black bodice. In addition to a red woollen skirt with a green overskirt. Likewise, she carries a stick that ends in a hook, as an allusion to her martyrdom, and the Gospel.

Museo Thyssen Malaga
Santa Marina (detail), F. Zurbarán, c. 1640-1650.

Among the romantic works, the most popular might be La capilla de los Benavente en Medina de Rioseco by Genaro Pérez Villaamil.

This painting shows the fascination of romantics to reinterpret landscapes and monuments from the past. Vilaamil increases the proportions of the environment. Furthermore, he modifies the chromatism giving it great brilliance.

Museo Thyssen Málaga
Benavente's Chapel in Medina de Rioseco (Detalle), Villaamil, 1842.

The marvelous Paisaje norteafricano by Mariano Fortuny is a work worth to mention among the précieuses. Fortuny made this painting during his second trip to Marruecos. He carried out a precise study of the landscape. The painter succeeds in capturing the land of the Maghreb in all its essence.

Museo Thyssen Málaga
North American Landscape (Detail), Mariano Fortuny, 1862.

Salida del baile de máscaras, by Raimundo de Madrazo is one of the end of the century most important painting you can find at the museum. It represents the entrance to the Valentín nightclub. There is next the Hôtel du Nord de París.

This painting, with an international vision, captures the nightlife scene of the worldly Paris of the late 19th century. Madrazo also deals with the theme of masks, a leitmotiv of the European artists of the time.

Museo Thyssen Málaga
Exit of the masked ball, Raimundo Madrazo, 1885.

Julia by Ramón Casas is another of the masterpieces you can find at the Carmen Thyssen Museum. Female portraits are of great importance in Casas’ production.

Julia Peraire was one of his favourite models. She was a lottery ticket seller that the painter met in the Maison Dorée and with whom he would later get married. Casas, though a sensitive use of the colour, represents his wife seated wearing very spanish clothes.

Museo Thyssen Málaga
Julia, Ramón Casas, c. 1915.

Plan your visit to the Carmen Thyssen Museum

Location: Plaza Carmen Thyssen, C/Compañía, 10. 29008, Málaga.
Phone: +34 902 30 31 31

Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 a.m to 8.00 p.m. (Closed on Mondays except bank holidays).

Admission fee: General 10€. There are some reduced and free admission fees to certain groups. 

If you would like to enjoy the city centre of Málaga here you have our website the best things to do and the best restaurants to eat.

Do not forget to visit the Málaga Cathedral, another Renaissance temple in the city.

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