The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) displays the world's largest collection of Argentine art in an old pump waterworks building. Established in 1896, the museum has been in its current location since 1932 and showcases national and international artworks in 30 richly-hued galleries across three floors.
Head straight to the first floor, which is devoted to Argentine and South American art. The permanent exhibition of Argentine art offers a wide-reaching and comprehensive overview of local talent as well as overseas painters who visited the country in the early 19th century to the artistic movements of the 20th century. Highlights include the gauchos (Argentine cowboys) of Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós' oil paintings, and the vibrant port scenes painted by Benito Quinquela Martín, of El Caminito fame in La Boca. There is a gallery of pre-Columbian Andean art and the 'Panels of the Conquest of Mexico' – an example of cross-cultural colonial art.
The permanent galleries on the ground floor are dedicated to international art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. Considered to be the finest collection of European art in South America, here you can view artworks by El Greco, Rembrandt and Tiepolo. The 19th-century exhibits include painting by Goya, landscapes by Daubigny and Courbet, colourful pieces by Monet and Sisley, as well as post-impressionist pieces by Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Degas. The final section of the permanent exhibition includes avant-garde artworks by 20th-century artists such s Kandinsky and Picasso, to name a few. There are also temporary exhibitions to showcase local talent in the pavilion behind the museum. The second floor displays Argentine sculpture in an outdoor terrace.
Entry to Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is free. To get there, buses 17, 59 and 67 stop outside the museum from the centre of Buenos Aires.