This one of the finest art galleries in Spain. Since it competes with the the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia, many people do not pay much attention to it, but it is worth a visit without hesitation. It does not normally show among the top attractions in Madrid, but this has probably got to do with the world-class reputation of the “Big” galleries in Madrid.
The academy is, above all, an academy with 56 members from different areas of arts. At the museum over 700 works are exhibited from a collection of over 1,500 . Among the most important paintings, the second largest collection of Goya in the world, San Jerónimo from El Greco and San Jerónimo from Rivera, the Spring from Arcimboldo, the only portrait of George Washington held outside the EEUU, and many others.
Located at central Madrid (Calle de Alcala 13) just behind Puerta del Sol, the academy was founded by Ferdinand VI in 1774 and built by the famous architect José Churriguera (who gave name to the Churrigueresco style).
The academy was very prominent as an educational institution for arts. Dali (the artist from the small village of Cadaques) or Picasso (who was born in Malaga) are among the students who gathered here and which counts for some of Spain´s most famous artists,
Which artists can be found at the Royal Academy of San Fernando?
The Academy exhibits many works from Goya (the burial of the sardine), Zurbarán, Ribera, Murillo, Antonio Pereda, Alonso Cano, Claudio Coello and many other local notable artists.
Foreign artists are also represented: Rubens, Giovanni Bellini, Lucas Jordán, Tintoretto, .
The building also holds the Calcografía Nacional where Goya´s engravings were printed. The permanent collection also holds a very important sculpture, tapestry (Goya himself was in charge during some time for this part of the collection) photography, china, furniture collections (and other objects such as watches, hand fans, and others.