The Prado has reopened a quarter of its gallery space with Reunited, a new display of nearly 200 paintings from its permanent collection. The exhibition will run until 13 September 2020. The museum’s masterpieces are displayed in novel juxtapositions, offering a new perspective on the permanent collection. For example, for the first time Rubens’ 17th-century “Saturn Devouring His Son” will be adjacent to Francisco Goya’s depiction of the same subject, painted nearly 200 years later. See the Prado’s website for more details on the works included, the new pairings, and additional videos on the exhibition.
The Prado has reopened with a limited capacity of only 1,800 people per day, compared to 15,000 on peak days last year. Visitors will have to book at least 24 hours in advance, have their temperatures checked at the entrance, wear masks throughout the visit, and there will be markings on the floor to indicate safe distances. The museum’s finances remain a concern despite reopening. Ticket prices will be halved until September 13th, and as the museum receives approximately half its funding from ticket sales. Furthermore, foreign tourists usually represent 70-80% of its visitors. The director of the Prado, Miguel Falomir, plans to showcase the museum’s permanent collection, which will help lower costs. Like many in the art world, he is concerned about the sustainability of the expensive ‘blockbuster exhibition’ model, which relies on loans from international collections and includes high insurance costs. However, in an interview with AFP, Falomir ended on a positive note, stating ‘It will take a while, but tourists will once again fill up the museums’.