A COLLECTION of paintings by Diego Velazquez has gone on display at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Entitled Velazquez and the Family of Philip IV, the exhibition brings together some of the Sevilla-born artist´s most important works for the first time.

Visitors will be able to see his portraits of the Infant Margarita Pope Innocent X and Philip IV, along with work from the final decade of his life.

The exhibition, which opened on October 8, has been made possible by loans from a string of institutions including the Museum of History of Art in Vienna.

The Prado, considered one of the world’s most treasured cultural institutions, was expanded in 2007 to accommodate the surge in visitor numbers.

Since the onset of the recession however, it has struggled to fill its new rooms as it faced slashed government subsidies, and has been forced to seek alternative sources of funding to remain open.

The cuts have been so severe the museum predicted a 25% drop in visitor numbers for 2013 as a result of the reduced number of exhibitions.

It is now hoping the vast appeal of the Velazquez exhibition will help turn its fortunes around.


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