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11 Reina Sofia Museum Best Artworks

The Reina Sofia is the most important contemporary art museum in Spain and one of the best in the world. All this thanks to its most important works which we will review in this post.

Carlos Bleda

Carlos Bleda

9 min read

11 Reina Sofia Museum Best Artworks

Reina Sofia Museum | ©MADRID-BIEN-VISTO

A visit to the Reina Sofia Museum is a must if you visit Madrid. It is located in the building of the old general hospital of Madrid next to the Atocha station and is part of the art triangle of Madrid along with the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.

It houses more than 18,000 pieces of twentieth-century and contemporary art, many of them signed by such famous authors as Salvador Dalí, Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró. The opening hours of the Reina Sofia is every day of the week except Tuesdays and some holidays so that all visitors can admire their works of art.

The visit is worth it just to see some of the most important contemporary works of these and other authors and therefore below I leave you a list of the 11 essential pieces of the Reina Sofia, one of the best museums in Madrid and Spain.

1. Picasso's Guernica

Picasso's Guernica| ©Daniel Lobo
Picasso's Guernica| ©Daniel Lobo

The Guernica painting by Pablo Picasso is the museum's masterpiece, the one that attracts the most visitors and the most admired.

This impressive painting of more than 7 meters wide and 3 meters high represents the suffering caused by the German bombing of the Basque town that gives its name to the painting with the unmistakable style of the author born in Malaga.

Picasso painted it in 1937 to be part of the Spanish pavilion at the international fair in Paris. Although the state bought it that same year, the author decided to donate it to the Moma in New York to protect it from the Second World War that was raging in Europe at the time.

It was not until 1981 that Spain recovered the work and in 1992, with the opening of the Reina Sofia Museum, it arrived at what is still its home and for which thousands of visitors come to see this impressive work.

  • Author: Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
  • Date: 1937.
  • Location: Room 205.10 of the Reina Sofia.

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2. Face of Dalí's Great Masturbator

Face of Dalí's Great Masturbator| ©Eleonora Buratti
Face of Dalí's Great Masturbator| ©Eleonora Buratti

Salvador Dalí is one of the most particular and eccentric authors known. And one of his most eccentric works, if we may say so, is in the Reina Sofia Museum. It is the Face of the Great Masturbator.

This work of autobiographical character, as Dalí himself recognized, reflects the deepest sexual obsessions of the author through a painting with the unique stamp of the painter's surrealism. The author himself is represented in the painting in several scenes.

His inspiration in this painting, as in many others, was his muse Gala. Salvador Dalí painted the picture in 1929 while enjoying the company of Gala in Cadaqués, even though she was already married to the poet Paul Éluard.

  • Author: Salvador Dalí.
  • Date: 1929.
  • Location: Room 205.13 of the Reina Sofia.

3. Snail, Woman, Flower, Star by Joan Miró

Snail, Woman, Flower, Star by Joan Miró| ©raelala
Snail, Woman, Flower, Star by Joan Miró| ©raelala

Joan Miró was one of the most influential Spanish artists of the 20th century, as well as one of the most versatile, since in addition to being a painter, he was also a sculptor, engraver and ceramist.

Although the author himself experimented with various artistic movements such as Cubism or Fauvism, he has always been considered fundamentally as an artist of Surrealism.

The Reina Sofia Museum houses one of his most important surrealist pictorial works, known as Snail, Woman, Flower, Star. This painting belongs to a group that Miró himself called wild paintings and which arose as a result of the fear of the rise of fascism and the pre-war period in Spain in 1934, the year in which this painting was painted.

This feeling is represented by surrealist figures that give name to the work and dark colors. This is perhaps the most famous painting of the author of all those exhibited at the Reina Sofia.

  • Author: Joan Miró.
  • Date: 1934.
  • Location: Room 205.04 of the Reina Sofia.

4. A world, by Ángeles Santos

A world, by Ángeles Santos| ©Saulo Alvarado
A world, by Ángeles Santos| ©Saulo Alvarado

Although the name of Ángeles Santos is not so well known, her work of One Worldis one of the most surprising in the museum.
is one of the most surprising in the museum. This author born in Girona was unaware of the artistic currents of Europe in the year she painted this canvas, in 1929, so she surprised everyone with a groundbreaking and modern painting whose only inspiration were the magazines and publications of the time.

The 3x3 canvas represents the imaginary world that the author invented when she was only 18 years old, shortly after receiving her first painting classes in Valladolid. Such was the admiration she aroused that she received praise from great figures of the time such as Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Jorge Guillén and Lorca. Today any visitor can be impressed and see the painting exhibited in the Reina Sofia Museum.

  • Author: Ángeles Santos
  • Date: 1929
  • Location: Room 205.06 of the Reina Sofía.

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5. Woman in Blue, by Picasso

Woman in Blue, by Picasso| ©Ángel Gil Criado
Woman in Blue, by Picasso| ©Ángel Gil Criado

Forgotten and unnoticed for many years, Pablo Picasso's Woman in Blueis today one of the artist's most important works on display at the Reina Sofía.
is today one of the most important works by the artist on display at the Reina Sofia.

It was one of the first works that the author painted upon his arrival in Madrid in 1901, being artistic director of the magazine Arte Joven, where he coincided with several authors of the generation of '98.

The painting, which represents the portrait of a courtesan of the time, was part of one of the illustrations that Picasso made for the magazine inspired by Van Gogh, El Greco and other great names. The author donated this painting to the fine art exhibition in Madrid, after which it fell into oblivion for many years until it arrived at the Reina Sofia in 1988 and catapulted the fame of this work of one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century.

  • Author: Pablo Ruiz Picasso.
  • Date: 1901
  • Location: Room 201.02 of the Reina Sofía.

6. The open window, by Juan Gris

The Open Window, by Juan Gris| ©Ramón Muñoz
The Open Window, by Juan Gris| ©Ramón Muñoz

Still lifes have always been a source of inspiration for many artists, including Juan Gris with his work La Ventana Abierta (The Open Window). It is part of a series of works inspired by what the author saw through the windows, the painting on display at the Reina Sofia being the most complete of them all.

The views of the painting represent the place where he painted the picture, the town of Bandol sur Mer, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the south of France.

Through her window she saw the sea and with that background she represented a still life with a very original composition. Its importance lies in the author's ability to paint several independent scenes on the same canvas.

  • Author: Juan Gris
  • Date: 1921
  • Location: Room 204.03 of the Reina Sofía.

7. The House of the Palm Tree by Joan Miró

The House of the Palm Tree by Joan Miró| ©Sven Loopmans
The House of the Palm Tree by Joan Miró| ©Sven Loopmans

Between 1916 and 1922, Joan Miró decided to travel in search of inspiration. A search that originated a series of works that represented different landscapes in a detailed way. One of these works was titled Casa de la Palmera
and is currently on display at the Reina Sofia Museum.

He painted this picture in 1918 when he spent the summer in Montroig and decided to capture one of the landscapes that inspired him. There is an immense amount of small details in the painting itself which have led him to consider this painting as one of the first great pictorial milestones of the author.

It is one of Miró's most important works in his pre-surrealist period, which he began to work on in 1923.

  • Author: Joan Miró
  • Date: 1918
  • Location: Room 207.02 of the Reina Sofia.

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8. Girl at the window, by Dalí

Girl at the window, by Dalí| ©Gabriela Rondon
Girl at the window, by Dalí| ©Gabriela Rondon

Contrary to popular belief, the young woman in this famous painting by Dalí is not Gala, but her sister Ana María. This painting of the Girl at the Window is one of the many studies Dalí made painting his sister.

The realism with which Dalí captures this canvas is striking, unlike the vast majority of works by an author characterized by an extreme surrealism.

The calm and relaxed pose of his sister and the bluish colors convey a tranquility that also contrasts sharply with the anguish caused by other of his works. This is Dalí's masterpiece as far as his sister's studies are concerned and the proof that Salvador Dalí also mastered painting in other facets different from the one he is known for.

  • Author: Salvador Dalí.
  • Date: 1925.
  • Location: Room 205.06 of the Reina Sofía.

9. Sonia de Klamery, by Hermen Anglada Camarasa

Sonia de Klamery, by Hermen Anglada Camarasa| ©Milton Sonn
Sonia de Klamery, by Hermen Anglada Camarasa| ©Milton Sonn

Hermen Anglada Camarasa was a modernist painter born in Barcelona recognized for depicting the scenes that inspired him in his many travels and for his style of contrasts between light and shadow and bright and dark colors. In this sense, his most famous work, or rather, his most famous works are Sonia de Klamery.

And I say works in plural because the author represented this figure in two different paintings with two different poses, lying and standing.

In both he represents Sonia Klamery, a Russian ballet dancer admired by Hermen, in two different poses and with his characteristic contrast between the pale color of the female figure's skin, the colorfulness of her dress and her dark background.

Thanks to these and other works, Hermen Anglada gained worldwide recognition as one of the great modernist authors of the time for his representation of the society of the early twentieth century.

  • Author: Hermen Anglada Camarasa
  • Date: 1913
  • Location: Room 201.02 of the Reina Sofia.

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10. Lola, by Antonio Saura

Lola, by Antonio Saura| ©jean louis mazieres
Lola, by Antonio Saura| ©jean louis mazieres

Antonio Saura was an author born in Huesca in 1930, precursor of the artistic movement of informalism in Spain. He, along with other authors, founded the group "El Paso" in Madrid, which brought together followers of this movement that began in 1951. A current that was characterized by painting through "stains".

After traveling to Paris, Antonio Saura began a series of works under this current. Many of them are in the Reina Sofia but the most outstanding is the one called Lola.

It is an almost abstract representation of a woman through thick strokes and stains in black on white. One of the most relevant works of informalism in Spain.

  • Author: Antonio Saura
  • Date: 1956
  • Location: Room 406 of the Reina Sofía.

11. Cards and dice by Georges Braque

Playing cards and dice by Georges Braque| ©JoJan
Playing cards and dice by Georges Braque| ©JoJan

Georges Barques is a French author whose career was parallel to that of Pablo Picasso until 1914, when he enlisted to fight in the First World War. Upon his return Braque took a different path than Picasso.

The canvas of Cards and Dice is a representation of the games of chance of the time and has the value of being one of the last works of Georges in which he shares aesthetics with Picasso. The painting depicts different games of chance such as cards and dice in an oval on a table with a complex composition.

  • Author: Georges Braque
  • Date: 1914
  • Location: Room 204.01 of the Reina Sofia.