Madrid’s Summer Art Season

Madrid is one of the best destinations for art lovers, and this summer’s exhibition season is as great as usual.

From June 12-September 16, the Prado is showing “Late Raphael,” the first major survey exhibition on Raphael (1483-1520) to combine paintings and drawings in order to focus on the last seven years of the artist’s life, when he was at the peak of his ability. It also examines the work of his assistants and how Raphael influenced generations of artists.

The Thyssen-Bornemisza is having an unusual look at German art with “Faces and Hands: Ancient and Modern Germanic Painting.” It examines how portraiture changed from the Renaissance to Expressionism by looking at the work of such masters as Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Younger, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. The show runs until September 2.

The Reina Sofia covers modern art with three different exhibitions: the reworked political texts of Sharon Hayes, nature paintings and natural objects arranged by Rosemarie Trocke, and the experimental sculpture and photography of Nacho Criado. Hayes’ and Trocke’s shows are on until September 24. Criado’s show is on until October 1.

All three of these museums have large permanent collections that art lovers won’t want to miss.

Madrid is full of private galleries and large exhibition spaces run by banks. One of the best is CaixaForum Madrid, which is hosting a large collection of the 18th century architectural drawings of Piranesi. Piranesi traveled across Europe to record its Classical ruins and also invented his own fantasy buildings, like the one shown here in this Wikimedia Commons image. The show is on until September 9.