The Cerralbo Museum

The museum, is located in the palace lifted partly in 1883 by the architect Alejandro Sureda who designed a completely irregular building, by the layout of the solar one and partly to follow the guidelines by the marquis of Cerralbo.

It was a building of neoclassical lines and brick walls whose windows are framed with columns. In 1891 it was planned to be enlarge and the marquis appealed Luis Cabello and Anso, since Alejandro Sureda had died.

The amplification consisted on adding two pavilions and the wall of the garden. In this same year and the following, Maximum Juderías Caballero carried out the ceiling paintings of the living room and the palace is clever to be inhabited.

During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), in spite of being protected with earth sacks it suffered some damages, since it was in the front vicinity and a couple of howitzers hit in its dependences, although one didn't arrive to explode.

During the war, the painting "Ecstasy of San Francisco" by The Greek went sent to Russia to protect the patrimony, being recovered by the Artistic Recovery Service in 1940.

The Collection

The exposed collection is composed of thousands of objects and works of art that the marquis had been gathering along his life, and that when dying, he donated to the Spanish State, because he didn't have any direct heirs.

The Visit

The monumental stairway has a wrought iron balustrade that belonged to another Bárbara of Braganza's palace in The Salesas. The paintings are by J. Soriano Fort and Antonio of Pereda.

Ground floor

The Religious Gallery: Works of all type and condition. Wooden caskets, decorated cabinets, tapestries, paintings, carvings, romanic panels, ...

The Chapel: Behind the altar it can be seen the impressive "Ecstasy of San Francisco" by The Greek. Baseboard of tiles from the 16th and 17th centuries, carvings from the 16th century, bulls and framed privileges.

The Red Living Room: A table cabinet with objects found in the excavation of Illora (Grenada), other two cabinets with objects from Roman origin, there is an etruscan mirror and Greek, swords, assegaies, ...

Among the paintings, it can be pointed out a portrait of the XII Duke of Alba by Mengs, a self-portrait of the painter Trevisani and several Italian anonymous from the 16th and 17th centuries.

Completing the room, a French clock in the chimney, the telephone of the palace from 1919 and several Roman amphoras, pickups near the Cape of Palos (Murcia).

The Yellow Living Room: Alphonsine chairs, a reproduction, rather a variant of the "Venus" by Tiziano, several miniatures and wall lamps from La Granja (Segovia).

The Pink Room: A portrait of a lady by Maella and several paintings by Eugenio Lucas. Before the chimney a curious porcelain screen, a Baroque mirror of porcelain foot from Sajonia and a cabinet with several objects.

The Bedroom: Bed imitating Emmanuelism style, an Italian decorated cabinet from the 17th century, a polychromated terracotta with "Santa Ana teaching to read to the Virgin" and paintings covering all the walls, among them, "San Lucas" and "San Mateo" by Palma the Youth; two oval coppers by Francesco Muro and the painting "Witches sabbath" by Alenza.

The Bathroom: Marble bathtub, curious porcelain lavatory pan and a painting in the wall that is reflected in the toilet mirror.

The Corridor: Several swords and parts of armors. A Flemish tapestry from the 17th century.

The Painting Gallery: Excellent oils collection, that already by itself, would justify a visit to the palace.

Big masters' works: Herrera the Young, Madrazo, Pacheco, Tintoretto, Tiziano, J.L.David, Ribera, Zurbarán, Alonso Cano,Valdés Leal, Van Dick, J. Carreño Miranda, Pietro Liberi, Magnasco, Pablo Vos, Antonio Gónzalez Velázquez, ...

The marchioness Villa-Huerta's bedroom: Furniture empire style, corner-pieces, two canvases from the 17th century by the Flemish school, a watercolor by Hubert Robert "Tito's Arch" and a painting by Mateo Cerezo "Virgin with the boy".

The Daily Dining Room: Walls covered with paintings by Arellano, Belvedere, Blas of Ledesma, Meléndez and Giuseppe Reco. Also two cabinets, one with silver objects (trays, urns and a carriage clock) and another of porcelain (Sévres, Marseilles, Chelsea).

The Music Living Room: It will get the attention - for the coloring and size - the great Venetian lamp hanging from the ceiling. Then, the visit will already be summed up in the urns from Sajonia and Sévres, the glass vase from La Granja and the french piano.

Main floor

The Armoury: A weapons collection is distributed in three rooms.

In the first one, thirteen planoplies with all kinds of swords and armors. It can be emphasized an armor from the 16th century that belonged to the second Marquis of Cerralbo, that faced the English Drake when the corsair attacked La Coruña (Spain) in 1589; the Saboya's helmet and the armor of the Count from Alcudia (17th century).

In the second one, two panoplies with shields, knives and big knives from different origins. (Polyinesia, Senegal, the Plilippines, Borneo, etc.).

In the third room or Stove Salon, firearms (culverin, arquebus) and saddles. In the corridor, Eugenio Horozco's painting "Sacred Dinner", Eugenio Lucas's painting "The appearance of a ghost", "The turn of the prodigal son" Italian anonymous painting from the 17th century and the "Chivalry Skirmishes" also an anonymous painting.

The Idols Salon: All kinds of mythological figures, from all origins and materials. On the central table three Chinese bronzes and hiding the walls some paintings by Luis Tristán, Giordano, Salvador Mayol, Mateo Cerezo and Lucas Jordán. Also, some Flemish panels from the 16th century and several anonymous art works and sketches.

The Wardrobe: Paintings by Mateo Cerezo and Juan Antonio Frías. A rich collection of dress swords, several objects and statuettes, one of them by Collot.

The Porcelains Room: Art works coming from Sajonia, Sévres, La Granja and El Retiro. As for as paintings, several works on glass and paintings by J.B.Tiépolo, Lucas Auger, J. Bonito, Angélica Kaufmann, Paret of Alcántara and Pier Francesco Cittadini.

The Dining Room: A mahogany table where there can be sat down until twenty-four diners, cupboards, porcelains from Sévres and El Retiro, paintings by Snyders, Blas of Ledesma, Mario of Fiori and others.

The Billiard Room: In the center, a billiard table that is said belonged to Ferdinand VII with run banks next to the wall, covered with different authors' paintings and studios.

The Corner House Salon: The ceiling and the walls are decorated with frescos by Máximo Juderías Caballero. The canvas "The spring in the Valencian vegetable garden" is by Soriano Fort. In the center, a table in Regency style; above the chimney a Luis XVI's mirror, a clock and chandeliers from Sajonia.

The Studio Library: One of the most interesting rooms in the museum, as much for its decoration as for the paintings that are exposed in it: Paintings by Rigaud, Michael Sweerts, Notoire, Van Dick and Andrea of the Sarto. In the library, about 12.000 volumes particularly on history, archaeology and trips.

The Galleries: Three rooms around the central patio that harbor all kinds of objects and furniture. Roman busts and a "Diana Hunter" brought from Clunia (Burgos), porcelains from Sévres, Vienna, Sajonia, China and Spanish, clocks, small boxes, medalls.

And as always, more paintings by Palma the Youth, Esquivel, Soriano Fort, Meléndez, Alonso of Arco, E.Caxés, Marco Tintoretto, Carducho, Pitoni, Luca Giordano, Alenza, Maella, Francisco Rizzi, Frank the Youth, Zuccaro, more some copies of famous painting works and other anonymous ones.

The Dance Salon: This is the final and culminating point of the visit. marbles, Venetian and La Granja lamps, mirrors, furniture Empire style, ... and a high ceiling decorated with frescos by Máximo Juderías Caballero.


Copyright © 1999 by JLL & JRP

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