National Museum of Fine Art
Paintings, sculptures, engravings and drawings. National and international pieces. Very interesting.
From 140 to 3000 works!
Opened in 1880 under the name Museo Nacional de Pinturas (National Paintings Museum with the aim of gathering together the works which were in the hands of various private and public bodies in the country; now called the Nacional de Bellas Artes has achieved its aims three times over. The idea came from the Chilean sculptor José Miguel Blanco and since then has gone from the 140 paintings the gallery began with to the nearly 3,000 works today, which also feature sculptures, engravings and drawings. One of the highlights from the collections of foreign art is an important collection of Italian paintings and drawings, as well as various statuettes from the sub-Saharan Africa, collected by the well-known Chilean poet Vicente Huidrobo during his stay in Europe at in the early 20th century. Spanish painting also has its place in the museum and the highlights from among the various pieces are Murillo's Madonna with Child, some works by Sorolla or the image of St Francis in Prayer, by Zurbarán. The museum didn't have its own building until 1910, when the Palacio de Bellas Artes was opened to coincide with the centenary celebrations. Designed by the French Chilean architect Émile Jéquier in neoclassic style with its main entrance covered by a spectacular glass dome made in Belgium.