The National Museum of San Carlos occupies the 18th
Century house which Doña María Josefa de Pinillos
gave as a gift to his son, the Count of Buenavista.
It was constructed by the celebrated architect from
Valencia Manuel Tolsá, who was also in charge of
other important projects like the conclusion of the
Metropolitan Cathedral, the Mining Palace and the
‘el Caballito’ statue, among others.
This building is of neoclassical style and stands
out for its sobriety and monumentality. A remarkable
element is its elliptical central patio, unique
among the architecture of the city.
The Museum of San Carlos opened in 1968 housing an
important collection of European art, which had once
belonged to the Gallery of the San Carlos Academy,
the first museum of art in the American continent.
This collection of paintings, the first in America,
was sponsored by the authorities and by donations
from eminent characters to facilitate the students’
learning process. After Mexico’s Independence, the
collection increased with private donations and
purchases by the Mexican government.
Within the rich collection of the museum, we can
find gothic paintings of 13th and 14th
Century Spain, as well as paintings from the
Renaissance and Italian Mannerism from which works
by Tintoretto stand out, Dutch art of the 13th
Century, works by Francisco de Zubarán, French
paintings of the 19th Century and Spanish
‘costumbrismo’ paintings with works by Joaquín
Sorolla, among others.
This museum also presents several temporary
exhibitions with collections belonging to some of
the best art museums specialized in painting.
For more information visit the museum’s webpage: