The National Museum of Fine Arts
The National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) of Argentina is located on Avenida del Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires.
It was inaugurated on 25 December 1896 and the opening was attended by numerous personalities. Among them was Nicaraguan writer, Rubén Darío, a referent of modernity. Its first Director was Eduardo Schiaffino.
The Bon Marché on the Calle Florida, was the precursory site for Argentina’s first art museum and had been built to house a department store. The absence of public buildings undoubtedly led to the MNBA setting out in this commercial mall, built in the style of its namesake in Paris.
In 1910 MNBA moved to its second premises in the Plaza San Martin, a palace made of iron and glass that had served as the Argentine Pavilion at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris and was shipped to Buenos Aires afterwards.
Since 1932, the MNBA has had premises of its own in the old pump building of Obras Sanitarias in Recoleta. Though not originally built to house a museum, it was adapted for its new role by the architect Alejandro Bustillo. The building currently consists of thirty rooms distributed over three floors.
The Museum & its Permanent Rooms
The permanent rooms on the first floor are entirely devoted to international art dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The MNBA’s collection is considered to be the most important of European art in South America, and includes works by Tintoretto, El Greco, Rembrandt, Zurbarán, Tiepolo and medieval masters. The amount of space dedicated to the 19th century in our collections denounces its relevance. It withholds paintings of Goya, the landscapes of Courbet, Millet, Troyon and Daubigny of the Barbizon School, as well as of their academic contemporaries such as Bouguereau and Lefebvre, the dawn of impressionism in Manet’s emblematic Nymph Surprised, the vibrant colour in the views of Pissarro, Monet and Sisley, the post-impressionist search in Van Gogh, Gauguin, Tolouse-Lautrec and Degas. It can be seen the valuable local contributions , as well as Italian painting, the Macchiaioli, the Spanish version of impressionism, and a thematic core devoted to various different manifestations of late 19th century European symbolism.
The last part of the tour through the permanent exhibition brings together various early 20th century avant-garde masters such as Klee, Kandinsky, De Chirico, Carrà, Modigliani, Picasso and Léger. Post-war trends are represented by European artists like Nicholson, Fontana, Vasarely, Dubuffet, Fautrier, Saura, Alechinsky and Henry Moore, while US section includes paintings by Rothko, Pollock and Nevelson.
19th and 20th Century Argentine Art: The first floor is devoted to Argentine and Latin American art. Next to the room of pre-Columbian Andean art, is a room displaying the Panels of the Conquest of Mexico, an emblematic example of colonial art in the crossing of cultures. Also on this floor María Luisa Bemberg’s former collection incorporates the River Plate avant-gardes.
Exhibited as an extensive and comprehensive overview, the permanent exhibition of Argentine art offers a sequence ranging from the foreign painters who visited Argentina in the early 19th century to the latest artistic trends of the 20th century.
Museum opening times
Tuesday to Friday
12.30 - 8.30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday
9.30 a.m. - 8.30 p.m.
54 11 5288- 9900