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We visit the National Sculpture Museum of Valladolid

The National Museum of Sculpture is a national museum of the first order. Some of the best sculptural samples of Spain are treasured in it. And the building, the old one, is already a marvel in itself. We go into its rooms to tour them and admire their works of art. Can you come with us?

The creation of the National Museum of Sculpture

The National Sculpture Museum is located in the city of Valladolid. It is a unique space in the center of the historic city that has its origin in 1842, being one of the oldest museums in Spain. The initial nucleus of this impressive sculptural collection is formed around the year 1835.

Its creation is the consequence of the confiscation of hundreds of convents and religious buildings throughout the country., as well as the disappearance or privatization of many of them. It is a museum of great importance that during the Second Republic, specifically in 1933, the Government recognized as the National Museum, with the consequent protection and investment in it.

Its continuous growth caused the need to improve and expand its spaces. Thus, An extensive and complete rehabilitation of the Colegio de San Gregorio de Valladolid began with the aim of configuring it as a worthy venue for such an important artistic collection. Its management, like that of other state museums, depends on the Ministry of Culture.

The museum collection

The National Museum of Sculpture has three nuclei of works. On the one hand there are the religious works and, on the other, the artistic copies of the extinct National Museum of Artistic Reproductions. To them we must add the magnificent Neapolitan nativity scene.

Religious works are sculptural works that range from the 13th to the 18th centuries. It is a large set of sculptures in polychrome wood, stone and polychrome clay in which you can see the evolution of this art over the centuries.

The works of Alonso Berruguete, Gregorio Fernández and Juan de Juni stand out. Some of the jewels on display are the main altarpiece of San Benito el Real de Valladolid, The burial of Christ or the processional passage of Pietà.

But there are also works of Gothic-Flemish and French tradition and examples of Renaissance style such as the great choir stalls of San Benito el Real de Valladolid. Thus, precious altarpieces, choir stalls, funerary monuments and processional steps will mark the historical path of sculpture throughout the country.

Authors of the stature of Felipe Bigarny, Diego de Siloé, Alonso Cano, Pedro de Mena, Juan Alonso Villabrille and many more have seen their work recognized through the rooms of this national museum.

Meanwhile, the second artistic nucleus that the National Museum of Sculpture has is the collections of the National Museum of Artistic Reproductions, founded at the end of the 19th century and which passed to this museum in 2011. And the third nucleus that should not be missed is the beautiful Neapolitan nativity scenemade up of more than 600 pieces.

The headquarters of the National Museum of Sculpture

The National Sculpture Museum is located on the pedestrian street of Cadenas de San Gregorio. It is formed by the union of several historic buildings: the Colegio de San Gregorio, the Palacio de Villena, the Casa del Sol and the church of San Benito el Viejo.

It is a powerful architectural ensemble that is made up of different architectural typologies, which will also allow us to contemplate the differences that existed between a school, a church or a palace. Among all of them, highlights the old College of San Gregorio de Valladolid.

It is a building built in the 15th century with the approval of the Catholic Monarchs and in which important figures such as Luis de Granada or Bartolomé de las Casas were trained. Its cover stands out in which the tree of life and knowledge is mixed with saints and allegorical beings.

The visit to the museum

As we have already said, the National Museum of Sculpture is developed in three historic buildings. Y each one has a different opening hours. Thus, the Colegio de San Gregorio, which houses the permanent sculpture collection, can be visited from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sundays and holidays open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Palacio de Villena, where the Neapolitan nativity scene and temporary exhibitions are located, and the Casa del Sol, where you can see the artistic reproductions, are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.: 30 hours. Sundays and holidays open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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