The Museo del Prado is a museum and art gallery located in Madrid, the capital of Spain. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection. Founded as a museum of paintings and sculpture, it also contains important collections of more than 5,000 drawings, 2,000 prints, 1,000 coins and medals, and almost 2,000 decorative objects and works of art. Sculpture is represented by more than 700 works and by a smaller number of sculptural fragments.
The painting collection comprises about 7,800 paintings, of which only about 1,300 are at public display, mainly because of the museum's lack of space. A new, recently opened wing enlarged the display area by about 400 paintings, and it is currently used mainly for temporary expositions. El Prado is one of the most visited sites in the world, and it is considered to be among the greatest museums of art.
The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of works of art and historic documents. At the present time, the Museum is displaying less than 1000 works in the main building, while around 3,100 works are on temporary loan to various museums and official institutions. The remainder are in storage.
The best known work on display at the museum is Las Meninas by Velázquez. Velázquez not only provided the Prado with his own works, but his keen eye and sensibility was also responsible for bringing much of the museum's fine collection of Italian masters to Spain.
Pablo Picasso's renowned work Guernica was exhibited in the Prado upon its return to Spain after the restoration of democracy, but was moved to the Museo Reina Sofía in 1992 as part of a transfer of all works later than the early 19th century to other buildings for space reasons.