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Art and Social Reforms in Spain

Art and Social Transformations in Spain – an exhibition

In the late 1800s, Spain went through big changes in society. It was a time of lots of changes and problems. This period saw workers asking for better conditions and Spain losing its colonies overseas. Paintings during this time started to show themes that affected all social classes. Artists started to focus on everyday life, similar to how realistic novels did. Luis Jiménez Aranda’s work, “A Hospital Room during the Visit of the Chief Doctor,” got a Medal of Honor at a big art show in Paris, and Spanish artists like Joaquín Sorolla talked about these issues. Some artists, like Darío de Regoyos, Isidro Nonell, and Pablo Picasso, tried to express themselves more, but they weren’t popular with the government. They were part of a new, modern style happening in Paris and other European cities. This period also saw changes in sculpture and other types of art.

In Spain, unlike in other European countries, there haven’t been specific art shows focusing on naturalism, even though it’s been an important style. This exhibition will be the first to explore this topic by showing relevant but lesser-known artworks, including drawings, photos, and films.

The National Exhibitions of Fine Arts were where painters displayed their big social paintings. The government bought many of the awarded works for the Prado Museum until 1894, and later for the Museum of Modern Art (which merged with the Prado in 1971). So, these museums have the most important collection of artworks on this theme, including some sculptures.

Art and Social Transformations in Spain

  • Location: Prado Museum
  • Dates: May 21, 2024 – September 22, 2024

What is the goal of the exhibition?

The exhibition aims to study, explain, and share the significance of changes in Spanish art, which happened because of changes in Spanish society during a crucial time in its history. It will be the first time the public can see how art played a role in changing Spanish society during that time. Art explored new topics and showed what life was like back then, highlighting important aspects that hadn’t been talked about before.

You can read more about other exhibitions, concerts, events, and interesting programs in Madrid in our Madrid calendar. If you want to read more about the popular attractions in Madrid, or get ideas for cool activities, look around here in our Madrid Guide.


May 21 2024 - Sep 22 2024


All Day


Prado Museum
Prado Museum
C. de Ruiz de Alarcón, 23, 28014 Madrid

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