Winslow Homer
Beach Scene, 1869,
Oil on canvas, 29.5 x 24 cm

From 1 October 1999 to 16 January 2000 the Temporary Exhibition Rooms of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid will be showing an exhibition devoted to a selection of paintings from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, tracing the rise and development of genre and landscape paintings. The Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, shown to the Madrid public for the first time in 1996, has expanded since that date through the acquisition of numerous paintings and sculptures, many of them true masterpieces worthy of being exhibited in the world’s best museums. It was for just this reason that Baroness Thyssen, the collection’s owner, decided to sign a preliminary agreement with the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture in June 1999 to show part of her collection in an annex of new rooms which will be attached to the Palacio de Villahermosa.

The present exhibition -a foretaste of the works which in a few years time will be on permanent show in Madrid- is a fitting tribute to Baroness Thyssen’s work as a collector which she has undertaken over the past few decades. The present exhibition is not, however, an overview, as is usually the case. Rather it has been taken as an opportunity to provide visitors, with the chance to become familiar with different schools of European and North American paintings of the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, such works of what might be called the "naturalist" tendency are not well represented in Spanish museums and collections, despite their art historical importance.