Top Artists From Madrid You Need To Know

Velazquez statue in front of the Prado Museum in Madrid
Velazquez statue in front of the Prado Museum in Madrid | © Mario Pereda / Alamy Stock Photo
Lori Zaino

Madrid is a cultural hub, home to a wealth of artistic masterpieces and many famous artists hail from Spain’s capital city. Here are some you should know, both old and new.

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Diego Velázquez

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Prince Baltasar Carlos, on Horseback, ca. 1635

One of the most famous Spanish painters, Diego Velázquez, born in 1599, lived and painted during the Golden Age. He mainly painted landscapes, scenes of significant events and court paintings, the most famous being Las Meninas, featuring Margaret Theresa, one of the royal daughters. This painting, which is found in the Museo del Prado, is one of the most interesting examples of Baroque art in the world.

Claudio Coello

Although Claudio Coello’s parents were Portuguese, this Spanish Baroque painter was born in Madrid, and considered to be one of the most important Baroque painters during the 17th century. He was a court painter for Charles II and his paintings can be found in many churches and public buildings in Madrid. There’s even a street named after him in the upscale Salamanca neighborhood of the city. Some of his most famous paintings can be found in El Escorial, a palace located about 45 kilometers outside of Madrid.

Juan Gris

Juan Gris was a Spanish artist and sculptor born in 1887. Although he was born in Madrid, he spend most of his adult life working in France. He’s most well-known for his contributions to the Cubism movement, some of his most famous paintings include Woman with Mandolin, after Corot and Portrait of Josette Gris, which is located in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

José Gutiérrez-Solana

José Gutiérrez-Solana was an expressionist painter who was also influenced by El Greco and Goya. Solana lived in Madrid for much of his life and frequented places in the city in the early 1900s that are still popular today, such as the Museo del Prado, the Rastro Sunday flea market and the Archaeological Museum. Solana also wrote many books and was also famous for engraving.

Juan Carlos Argüello, “Muelle”

Nicknamed “Muelle” for his signature, Juan Carlos Argüello was one of Spain’s first graffiti artists. He started creating street art in the early 1980s after the Franco reign was over, during a time when Madrid was enjoying newfound freedoms and culture expression. He started by spraying his signature around Madrid, and later expanded his style to include different colors, borders and effects.

Juan Muñoz

Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz worked with a variety of materials such as resin, bronze and paper maché. His work was significant in Spain over the past 30 years as he was able to show his creativity after Franco’s oppressive reign. It is exhibited all over the world in renowned museums such as the Tate London and the Guggenheim.

Eduardo Rosales Gallinas

Eduardo Rosales Gallinas was part of an Italian artistic movement called Purismo, which rejected neoclassicismand sought to restore medieval art and language. He was invited to paint for the Museo de Prado but declined due to poor health. Today, Madrid has a street named after him: Paseo del Pintor Rosales.

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