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collections, located on the ground, fi rst and second fl oors; and two temporary exhibition galleries.The Permanent CollectionThe Carmen Thyssen's permanent collection provides the visitor with an extensive, indeed a landmark, study of the genres that have signifi cantly infl uenced the great Spanish painters, with Andalucía a primary focus of the pieces on display. "In addition to being a unique collection of Andalusian paintings - thanks to the generosity of the Baroness - it has also brought a new vision to 19th-century works, an era which has not been highly valued in Spain, up until now," says Lourdes Moreno.The wide-ranging scope refl ects the expansive personal tastes of the Baroness - after all, most of these pieces come directly from her never-before-seen collection. The intimate relationship that she has with the works is highlighted when she tells me that she acquired Ramón Casas i Carbó's Julia (1915) as the sitter reminded her of her own mother, María del Carmen Fernández de la Guerra y Álvarez. Leading names in 19th-century Spanish art, including Valeriano Domínguez Bécquer, Eugenio Lucas Velázquez, José Jiménez Aranda, Mariano Fortuny, Julio Romero de Torres, Joaquín Sorolla and Ignacio Zuloaga, among others, form the core of the collection, a collection that is divided into four principal categories: Old Masters, Romantic Landscapes, Naturalist Landscapes, and Fin-de-Siècle.Your visit to the Museum, in the Old Masters section, begins with an encounter with the masterful Santa Marina (1640-1650), by Francisco de Zurbarán, one of the most enigmatic painters of the Spanish Golden Age. The painting is an example of the artist's 'retratos a lo divino' era, in which his subjects were cast as their patron saints. Three small pieces, by the late 17th-century, Madrid-born Jerónimo Ezquerra, depicting the birth and childhood of Jesus Christ, join Santa Marina in the gallery which is presided over by an early 13th-century carving of The Dead Christ and a pair of glazed terracotta cherubs (1525-1550) from the Della Robbia studio.In the 19th century, Spanish landscape painters increasingly shunned the serene, idealistic tendencies of their forebears and Above: The internal Renaissance courtyard in the museum44 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 www.nadfas.org.ukCARMEN THYSSEN

embraced the romance and grandeur of a scene, often combing the majestic with the minuscule to highlight the other's beauty. It was at this time that Andalucía began to personify the quintessential Romantic Spain. Flamenco, fi estas, bulls, Moorish architecture, gypsies, and religious processions were frequently at the heart of paintings by artists including Fritz Bamberger, Manuel Barrón, Andrés Cortés y Aguilar and Genaro Pérez Villaamil. Such painters were keen to explore their individual styles but were also, it seems, simultaneously happy to meet the burgeoning international demand for Spain-related art. The Carmen Thyssen's collection of Romantic Landscapes includes some of the fi nest depictions of traditional Andalusian scenes in the world, and includes works by José and Joaquín Domínguez-Bécquer, Manuel Cabral Aguado-Bejarano, Guillermo Gómez Gil and José García Ramos.The Museum's gallery devoted to naturalist landscapes and 'preciosista' paintings illustrates Spain's signifi cant change of artistic taste in the latter half of the 19th century. The nostalgia and sentimentality of the Romantic era were being brushed aside in favour of realistic, fi rst-hand observations.This movement, led by Marià Fortuny, saw a growing popularity for bolder colours and populist subjects, with painters' focus on spontaneous details meaning they generally favoured using smaller formats. With a burgeoning, art-buying middle class, artists including José Moreno Carbonero, Emilio Sala, Raimundo de Madrazo, Carlos de Haes and José Benlliure, adopted Fortuny's style and became some of the most sought-after creatives of their time. At the end of the 19th century, Spanish painting began to refl ect the era's social optimism and, having being infl uenced by international art, fi n-de-siècle works were much more expressive and luminous. It was a total modernisation and complete reimagining of landscape painting.In this part of the Carmen Thyssen, visitors see how the likes of Joaquín Sorolla, Ricard Canals, Ramón Casas and Francisco Iturrino continued to focus on Andalusian subjects to represent Spain, and how they used styles inspired by Parisian bohemia to express them. Having loaned the Malaga museum the 230 pieces until 2025, it can be deduced by her frequent visits that Baroness Thyssen values them highly, and misses them.El Museo Carmen Thyssen is undoubtedly a personal project for 'Tita', a woman whose private life is continually and haughtily pilloried by the European media. The press often perceives her to be fl amboyant and whimsical, which is in stark contrast to the sophisticated, charismatic, intelligent and initially shy woman I know; the woman who has created a collection that gives every visitor a masterclass in Spanish art history.Whereas swathes of the museum in Madrid are now owned and operated by the State, the venture in Malaga has her stamp all over it. The majority of the Spanish capital's collection was acquired by her late husband (even though there is a wing there containing more than 200 pieces that she purchased herself), but the museum on the Costa del Sol houses the pieces that she has personally sought. The new museum - its buildings, its collection, and its marketing - is a statement to her critics, who include the more elitist elements of the artistic community and the Spanish government, whom she feels have not perhaps afforded her the respect she merits. It confi rms her as a world-class art collector in her own right and it extols the virtues of superbly marrying the traditional with the contemporary. Indeed, the elegantly executed, hot-pink 'Museo Carmen Thyssen' exterior signage speaks volumes. ?Top: La Trinidad de la Tierra by Jerónimo EzquerraAbove: The Buenaventura by Julio Romero de Torres, 1922Visitor informationOpen: Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-8pm; Monday closedAddress: Calle compañia 10Contact: +34 902303131www.carmenthyssenmalaga.orgAdmission: Adults ?6, Concessions ?3.50, Under 12s Free Getting there: By train: Maria ZambranoImages: Museo Carmen Thyssen MalagaTemporary exhibitionsParadise and Landscapes (19 March - 7 October 2012) brings together the biggest names in the genre from the 17th to 20th centuries, including Gaugin, Brueghel and Renoir. This exhibition, which will open with Jan Brueghel's The Garden of Eden, takes the visitor on a journey from the idyllic and serene vision of landscapes favoured by the Romantic masters, to the realistic and naturalistic styles of the later greats. Most of the paintings selected, 30 so far, belong to the Baroness's personal collection, but the exhibition will also feature some loans from the Museum in Madrid. The exhibition also includes paintings by American artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. www.nadfas.org.uk NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 45 CARMEN THYSSEN