Top 5 European Modern Art Galleries

Published May 28th, 2012

There’s no doubt that classical art dominates the galleries throughout Europe. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa hanging in the Louvre and Michelangelo’s David standing tall in Florence are internationally famous works. But if you’re not particularly interested in admiring classical works all is not lost - the capitals of Europe also boast a public modern art gallery.


Here are our top five European modern art galleries.


London's Tate Modern


Tate Modern, London
Opened with much fanfare in 2000 in a converted Power Station – the building of the Tate Modern in London is as much a modern piece of art as the exhibitions within it. Begin your exploration of the Tate Modern in the immense Turbine Hall on level one, where there’s 3,400 square metres of awesome floor space. Working your way through the building, level three concentrates on surrealism, while abstract art is the focus on level five.


Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
The construction on the Centre Georges Pompidou, named after the French President who commissioned the initiative, began in 1971 with the iconic building formally opened in 1977. Today the façade of the Pompidou Centre is a major attraction for visitors to Paris, with the building itself housing a public library and the Musée National d'Art Moderne – the largest modern art gallery in Europe. The gallery curator’s generally arrange for big name exhibitions – Edvard Munch ofThe Scream fame was the feature exhibition in 2011.


Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie focuses almost exclusively on early twentieth century paintings - with a good representation of Cubist, Expressionist, Bauhaus and Surrealist art on display. Big name artists include Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Joan Miró. As you’re admiring the art, be sure to look up at the futuristic ceiling – it’s constructed with steel beams erected in a cool grid pattern.


Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
While Amsterdam’s big claim to fame are the Dutch Masters such as Rembrandt, the country’s capital also features the Stedelijk Museum – which features a collection of around 90,000 art works including 4,395 paintings and 1,654 pieces of sculpture. Famous artists on display include Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse and the iconic Pablo Picasso.


Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid
Regularly shorted to the Queen Sofia Museum or just The Sofia, Spain’s national modern art gallery is worth exploring, if the more traditional Prado doesn’t interest. The collection has a strong Spanish focus with Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali well represented. Despite popular perception – Picasso was Spanish but lived in France. The building itself dates to the eighteenth century and was originally used as a hospital.