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Spain's national art museum, housing the world's greatest collection of Spanish painting as well as other European works. Founded in Madrid in 1818 by Ferdinand VII, it was opened to the public in 1819 as the Royal Museum of Painting. Its holdings were formed over three centuries from the various royal collections of the Habsburg and Bourbon monarchs in Spain. In 1868 it became the National Museum of the Prado after the exile of Isabella II. In 1872 it acquired many notable paintings formerly owned by Spanish convents and monasteries. It owns the outstanding collections of the works of El Greco, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Goya and numerous works by other Spanish masters such as José de Ribera and Francisco Zurbarán. Among its other holdings are collections of Greco-Roman statuary and many Flemish and Italian masterpieces.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Prado Museum, visit Britannica.com.
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