An 18th century Neapolitan Nativity Scene belonging to the Isidro Brunete collection and generously loaned for the occasion is on display in the main hall of the museum until 7 January 2019. It began to be assembled in the 1970s and is notable for the figures of the angels, the Nativity group – the Virgin Mary, the Child and Saint Joseph – and the Magi, and the rich setting illustrating daily life during the period: street vendors, musicians, travellers, passers-by, figures making purchases, tavern keepers and others representing a broad range of trades who provide a lively and expressive backdrop to the birth of Christ.

In addition, on 21 and 28 December the Guerrero Choir Ensemble will be performing a selection of carols around the Crèche at 11.30 and 13.00. These will include Adeste Fideles, attributed to John Francis Wade; Noche de paz, by Franz Xaver Gruber; White Christmas, by Irving Berlin; The first Nowell and Auld Lang Syne, popular carols from England and Scotland, respectively; Hark! The herald angels sing by Felix Mendelssohn and William H. Cummings, and A la nanita, nana, popular carol from Andalucía.

During the Christmas period the museum will only be closed on 25 December and 1 January. The permanent collection can be visited on 24 and 31 December from 11.00 to 15.00 – including the displays Guest Works from Madrid Museums and Discovering Caravaggio – free of charge, as on every Monday, thanks to the sponsorship of Mastercard; the exhibition Dalí and Surrealism in the ABANCA Art Collection, which is also free of charge, will also be open. Apart from the above dates, opening times will be as usual: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 19.00, with the exhibition Beckmann. Exile Figures remaining open until 21.00 on Saturdays.

Once again, the Education Department is staging special activities for families during the school holidays. This year it is a workshop, Hechizo Azul (Blue Enchantment), aimed at families with children aged from 3 to 12.

Lastly, why not send season’s greetings with our selection of digital Christmas cards featuring works from the museum’s collections, which are available on our website as in previous years? MERRY CHRISTMAS!