Off the beaten path from the so-called Golden Triangle comprised of the Thyssen, El Prado, and the Reina Sofia, this private collection is well worth the side trip. Beyond the individual pieces, which include decorative art over the centuries along with several works by Goya, Lucas Cranach, Velázquez, and the like, it’s the way this collection, amassed by banker, publisher, and collector José Lázaro Galdiano himself, is displayed in his former mansion. While it’s not a house museum per se, the collections are grouped in a way that has the feel of an old stately mansion mixed with a cabinet of curiosities. Galdiano is well loved in Spain for having bought back many important Spanish artworks that were almost lost during the Spanish Civil War.

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