National Museum of Fine Arts
Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes


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Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes
: Ave. Libertador 1473, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tuesdays to Fridays 12:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Entrance Fee – The Museum Accepts Donations

The Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes is probably the easiest museum in Buenos Aires to locate.  It is a large pink building in Recoleta on Ave. Libertador.  On the back of the museum there is a posh café called Modena Café.  The Modena Café allows you to enjoy your lunch and shop for a Ferrari at the same time.  The servers in this little restaurant can be a little stuck up, but if you are at the Fine Arts Museum I suggest you stop by the café for a quick photo or two.

Audio Guide

One great feature this museum offers is an electronic audio guide in English.  To celebrate the museum’s 110 year anniversary they added this feature.  It is the first Latin American Museum to offer an audio-guide in both Spanish and English.  The guide is an 80 minute tour which takes guest through all of the exhibition halls.  The guide only covers the permanent exhibits, but pamphlets are available on all temporary exhibits.  The tour is in chronological order and explains the artistic trends of the art on display.  It also gives a detailed analyst on some of the more significant pieces on display.  This 80 minute English or Spanish audio tour of the Museo Nacional De Bellas Artes is available at the front desk for 15 pesos or $5 USD.

Museum Layout

The National Museum of Fine Arts is a two story building with several different halls for exhibits.  The first floor displays works from Europe and temporary exhibits, while the second floor only displays art from Argentina.  The first floor also contains a small gift shop where you can purchase books and postcards of the museum’s collections.

European Art

The European collection on the first floor has a variety of art from the 1500’s to the late 1900’s.  The exhibition on the left, the collection of Alfredo and Lisa Hirsch, is mostly Italian art from the renaissance period.  There are small renaissance bronzes which emerged in the mid-1500’s.  These pieces were often copies of classical works of art, but not exact replicas.  The artist used the original pieces as inspiration to build the bronzes with new styles and techniques.  These small replicas were often commissioned by the noble class to give as gifts.   To make these statuettes artist used a method called the ‘lost wax method’.  First clay was sculptured into shape, then covered in wax to form a mold.  The molten bronze was poured in between the wax and clay, which when dry could be chiseled and polished to a finish.

Along with the bronze statuettes the Hirsch collection includes large tapestries and paintings from the 16th century.  There is a collection of Peter Paul Rubens and Rembrandt van Rye paintings in the hall.  Rubens trained in Antwerp then moved to Italy where he was in the service of the Duke of Mantus during which time he trained in Rome, Genoa, Venice and Mantua.  Rembrandt was the master of ‘chiaroscuro’ which is the use of contrast light and shade to create a more three dimensional illusion in paintings.

Argentinean Art

The second floor of the Fine Arts Museum contains art by Argentineans.  The back of the museum has very modern art and the front has some more traditional pieces along with a collection of things from the Native Americans.  The modern art is spectacular.  I believe the collection is more interesting than the modern art at Museo MALBA.  There are amazing pieces which play with light and shadows and geometric pieces which look three dimensional.  Included in the collection from the Native Americans are tapestries and the looms they used to make them.

The Argentina National Museum of Fine Arts is a ‘must do’ for any art and cultural enthusiast visiting Buenos Aires.


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