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Museo Bellas Artes

The Museum of Fine Arts of Valencia is the  most important point of reference for museums in the Valencian Community. Almost three centuries have passed since its foundation in 1837 until now, and there have been many ups and downs through history. It is basically formed by a big art gallery with works of Jacomart, Joan Reixach, Paolo de San Leocadio, Joan de Joanes, Francisco Ribalta, Jerónimo Jacinto de Espinosa, José de Ribera, Diego Velázquez, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Francisco de Goya, Vicente López, Ignacio Pinazo, Joaquín Sorolla, Antonio Muñoz Degraín and Cecilio Pla. It also has a great possession of drawings and engravings, as well as sculptures, archaeological pieces, architectonic fragments, pictures and decorative arts.

The origin of the museum is related to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos, whose statute was approved by the king Carlos III in 1768.  Within this corporation, a small collection of works was gathered through the donations of masters  and pupils. This collection will become the first important contribution to the museum. In 1812, with the French occupation of Valencia, the marshal Luis Gabriel Suchet wanted the most influencing corporations of the city to join the Napoleonic cause, so he created a museum with paintings, sculptures, medals and books taken from convents. Once peace was achieved and the national government was established in 1813, the pieces of art were taken back to their original places. The definitive impulse for the creation of the Museum was given by all the confiscations of churches’ assets, that took place between 1835 and 1837, which helped the creation of provincial museums of fine arts with works of art seized from the closing convents. Works were firstly collected in the Temple, and then taken to the Convent of Carmen, which was restyled in order to become a museum, which finally opened to the public on October 5, 1839. In 1936, with the Civil War, the Museum was dismantled and used as a warehouse for the Artistic Treasure, moving part of its possessions to Madrid. At the end of the war, and as a consequence of the bad state of the building, the Museum was moved to the Seminar college of San Pio V, the current location of the museum.