Fine Art Museum : Michelin's recommendations
This magnificent picture gallery is a panorama of Spanish painting from the Golden Age, and is set up in the old Merced convent designed by Juan de Oviedo. The Baroque door was added in the 18C. The convent buildings are grouped around three attractive patios and you will notice a magnificent staircase topped by a dome decorated with mannerist stucco. The museum shows high quality works from the Middle Ages to the 20C. Two magnificent rooms must be seen. Room V is without doubt the jewel of this museum; the old church decorated with 18C frescoes by Domingo Martínez, provides an incomparable setting for this extraordinary collection of works by Murillo and for the masterpiece by Zurbarán :The Triumph of St Thomas Aquinas. Murillo (1617-1682), who was the master of painting technique and the use of light, was a great painter of religious subjects and children ; his figures have a tenderness and delicacy in a balanced environment devoid of all exaggeration. The work, which must be seen, is the Immaculate Conception full of movement in the material. Room X is devoted to Francisco de Zurbarán, No-one has been able, as he was, to render the nuances of white on monks' robes or the purity of Christ's garments, as exemplified by the splendid Crucifixion where the body on a black background seems almost to have been sculpted. Also admire the splendid velvet brocade of St Ambrose and be particularly careful to see St Rufine and St Juste, and St Leander and St Boniface.