Buenos Aires Travel Planet

Buenos Aires visitor’s guide

Top 10: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

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Top 10: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

No major metropolitan city is complete without a collection of some of the finest art in the world, created by some of the greatest artists in history. Buenos Aires is no different, and its Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, or the National Museum of Fine Arts, fulfills just that purpose. Here are the top 10 things to see when visiting this incredible collection of art.

1. Hirsch Collection

The Old Masters wing of the museum is home to the Hirsch Collection, made up of the work of 16th- and 17th-century Dutch and Flemish artists. Rubens and Rembrandt are both featured here, as well as select French and Italian works.


2. Francisco de Goya y Lucientes

Goya’s dark, ominous works are enough to take your breath away in any setting, and this is no different. His depictions from the battlefields of Napoleon’s conquests are gathered here, and the warm, eerie orange glows will stick with you long after leaving the room.

3. Pre-Colombian Andean Textiles

While the museum’s focus is international, it also hosts a variety of pieces from South American cultures. One of the most impressive is the textile collection from Peru, before the Spanish conquistadores came. Various clothing items and blankets from the early Nazca people, and their successors, the Chancay make up the collection.

4. Graphic Arts, 1940 – 1970

Graphic arts have long since been an important part of Argentine art, and one of the highlights is from the 1960s, when artists with political motives revisited the ancient art of engraving. World-famous Antonio Berni was one of the major players, and his work from this time can be seen here.

5. Quirós Collection

Keeping in line with the South American theme, the works of Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós represent everything the gaucho stands for today, embracing the great outdoors, and rejecting the metropolitan life.


6. The New Figuration

The New Figuration came from a group of four artists in the early 1960s in Argentina. These artists wanted to dissect society and social structures, and examine the individual’s role, and the resulting separation. Their work is a sort of organized chaos, commenting on how little structure there truly is.

7. Di Tella Collection

Moving back to international art, this collection spans through the entire museum. While it is quite varied in its scope, the majority of its works come from European avant garde artists and American abstract art.

8. Mercedes Santamaria Collection

This collection is extremely varied in the types of art represented, from paintings to ceramics to bronze sculptures. Artists represented include Degas, Rodin, Renoir, Cezanne, and even some pieces from the Ming dynasty.


9. Sculpture Patio

The museum’s patio is graced by the presence of several sculptures, all by Argentine artists, in a variety of styles. Perfect for enjoying while taking in some fresh air.

10. Realism in 1970s Argentina

Reflecting on some of the horrors of the reality in Argentina, Segui, Heredia and other artists captured the terror and oppression of the Junta period in Argentina in these extremely powerful pieces.

For more information about museums in Buenos Aires, see this Buenos Aires Travel Guide.

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