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Nueva Sala 52A © 2010 Museo Nacional del Prado

MADRID.- The Prado Museum opens its new galleries dedicated to Medieval and Renaissance Spanish paintings. This new development plan of reorganization and expansion of collections has been given the name, "The Collection: The other extension", is yet another important phase of it, the one that completes the presentation of the collections installed on the ground floor of the Villanueva building.

With the public opening of these rooms, the Prado significantly expands the display of Spanish painting in its collection from the Romanesque to the Renaissance. A reformatted and expanded selection of works exhibited in this new exhibition space will allow visitors to conduct a thorough tour of the main currents that developed in Spain between the twelfth and sixteenth centuries, beginning with the Romanesque frescoes of Santa Cruz and San Baudelio Maderuelo de Berlanga, continuing with the great altarpieces of Rodriguez de Toledo and Nicolas Frances and the paintings of Luis Alincbrot, Fernando Gallego, Bermejo, Paolo de San Leocadio, Juan Pedro Berruguete or Juan de Flandes. Well into the Renaissance and Mannerism to the new proposed route focuses on the works of Fernando Yanez, Machuca, Juan Correa de Vivar and Juan de Juanes, concluding with the boards of the spiritual mannerism by Luis de Morales, widely represented in the Prado.

The seven rooms in which it now exhibits this part of the Prado collection, most of them recovered for exhibition use due to the transfer of various technical offices to the Museum's building expansion which opened in 2007, are distributed around the Low Rotunda Goya-room which include a significant representation of classical sculpture from the Museum's collection. To accommodate these paintings and facilitate access to visitors, this area has required architectural work by Rafael Moneo, the author of the project to expand the museum, which also dealt with the new layout of room 51C, with an architectural style reminiscent of the spaces that housed the paintings of San Baudelio Romance de Berlanga (Soria) and the chapel of Santa Cruz de Maderuelo (Segovia).

Prior to performing this procedure and parallel to it, the restoration of some paintings as well as the recovery of the spectacular Gothic tracery of Santo Domingo de Silos de Bartolomé Bermejo was undertaken. Undoubtedly the most ambitious intervention has been the restoration of the frescoes in the Romanesque chapel of Maderuelo, conducted in collaboration with the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain (IPCE) and directed by Juan Ruiz. Added to this, the restoration done by the workshop of the Prado Museum of works by Borrassa, Guerau Gener, and Gonçal Peris, Pere Lembrí, Juan Sanchez, Juan de Nalda and the Maestros de los Luna y de Robredo.

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Nueva Sala 51C. Obras de la iglesia de San Baudelio de Casillas de Berlanga y de la ermita de la Cruz de Maderuelo © 2010 Museo Nacional del Prado

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Nueva Sala 51A © 2010 Museo Nacional del Prado

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A man looks at Romanic mural paintings transferred from the Vera Cruz Maderuelo church in northern Spain, during a media presentation of the Prado Museum's seven new rooms dedicated to Spanish medieval and renaissance painting, in Madrid March 25, 2010. REUTERS/Susana Vera

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General view of one of new rooms for Spanish painting at Prado Museum during its presentation in Madrid, Spain, on 25 March 2010. The rooms will feature Spanish paintings which were made from the Romanesque until the Reinassance. EPA/J.J.GUILLEN