Skip to content

Museum of Fine Arts

The building has been refurbished to house the new Museum of Fine Arts, which holds one of the most important public collections of pictorial art in the Region of Valencia, with works by Ribera, Goya, Vicente López, Santiago Rusiñol, Benlliure, Antoni Miró and many others. It also exhibits outstanding pieces of sculpture and stonemasonry. Of particular note is the iconic portrait of Felipe V, hung upside down in revenge for his having ordered the burning of Xàtiva in 1707. In addition to its permanent collection, this dynamic Museum also regularly holds temporary exhibitions.

Play Video

This splendid mid-18th century building houses a museum destined to become a benchmark in Valencian art. It has a Baroque doorway surmounted by the coat of arms of the founder of the former school, Archbishop Mayoral, where classes were still taught until the end of the last century.
Its restoration and refurbishment as a museum has represented one of the city’s most emblematic cultural projects in recent years.


Born in Xàtiva, Josep de Ribera spent most of his career as a painter and engraver in Italy, mainly in Naples, and was an influential Baroque artist who now occupies a place of honour in the museum. His San Matías Apóstol, a small gem from the Prado Museum, or his San Andrés and El Salvador, are splendid examples of Tenebrism, a dramatic style of painting that created vibrant images of religious passion in the service of the Catholic Counter-Reformation.


The chapel that Pope Callixtus III ordered to be built in what had been the city’s main mosque before being adapted to Christian worship, endowed Xàtiva with a notable flamboyant Gothic heritage. However, centuries later, the chapel was demolished. The only surviving vestiges of its past existence are the beautiful remains preserved in the museum, including the vault keystone and the angel corbel that supported this prominent family’s coat of arms.


The Carreño Gómez collection has endowed the museum with one of its greatest treasures, the complete series of Francisco de Goya’s Caprichos and Disparates engravings. The Caprichos, considered key in the work of Goya and in modern art, furnishes an irreplaceable insight into a turbulent time. Meanwhile, in the enigmatic Disparates, also known as the Proverbios, the visionary Aragonese artist combines allegorical criticism with aesthetic pessimism, coinciding with Spain’s return to absolutism.


The work of a local artist, Josep Amorós, the portrait of Felipe V has become a symbol of the city and occupies pride of place in the museum. The first member of the Bourbon dynasty in Spain, once Felipe V had conquered the city by force of arms in 1707 he ordered Xàtiva to be burnt and razed to the ground and its inhabitants cast out. In the mid-20th century, the municipal curator of the museum decided to hang the picture upside down in an act of symbolic revenge and commemoration.

Thanks to the restoration of the Casa de l’ Ensenyança, Xàtiva’s magnificent pictorial collection can now be displayed in superb conditions. The collection ranges from pieces in the 16th century Gothic style to contemporary works of art. There is an outstanding collection of Baroque art, with paintings by Josep de Ribera as well as several works by his contemporaries, on loan from the Prado Museum in recognition of the artist’s special relationship with the city of Xàtiva. Works by great masters such as Luca Giordano, Carducho, Palomino and Juan Bautista Mazo, as well as others from the workshop or school of Teniers, Breughel, Rembrandt, Murillo and Velázquez, speak for themselves and need no introduction here. The museum also houses notable portraits of monarchs which once hung in the City Hall, including one of Fernando VII by Vicente López, who also painted an exceptional Santa Cena (Last Supper). Other artists represented in the collection include Benlliure, Rusiñol, Pérez Contel, contemporary artists such as Vento and Hernández Quero, and the Valencian painters Manuel Boix, Artur Heras, Enric Solbes, Antoni Miró and Adrià Pina. There is also a magnificent collection of engravings, among which the complete series of Goya’s Caprichos and Disparates must take pride of place.


The museum preserves a magnificent example of a boundary cross, carved in limestone in the late Gothic style. It once stood at the entrance to the city, on the road to Valencia, and is an extraordinarily intricate piece of work that must have required the labours of the most skilled stonemasons.


The Retaule del Salvador altarpiece, also known as the Transfiguració, consists of 22 panels attributed to the Master of Borbotó. The identity of this prolific 16th century Valencian artist remains a mystery even today. Some scholars claim that the Master of Borbotó, the Master of Xàtiva and the Master of Artes, to whom numerous works have been attributed, sometimes in conjunction, were in fact the same person, and that the different names indicated the Master’s stylistic evolution from the Gothic to the Renaissance.


The Valencian painter José Benlliure, whose life straddled the 19th and 20th centuries, is also well represented. In his unique style, Benlliure cultivated Costumbrist painting, and today his work bears witness to a bygone era.


Sant Nicolau i Sant Dionís, by the Valencian painter Nicolau Falcó, is the sole and final panel that has been preserved of the altarpiece from the Ermita de las Santes chapel in Xàtiva. Falcó, whose work reflects the late Gothic and incipient Renaissance styles, was the forerunner of an important group of painters in 16th century Valencia.


El Sant Sopar, by the painter Vicente López, is an exceptional work of Valencian art. López was a prominent representative of Spanish neo-Classicism and court painter for Fernando VII and Isabella II. His other work displayed here is a portrait of Fernando VII. Although a contemporary of Francisco de Goya, his work was in complete contrast as it reflects cold academic virtuosity.


Casa de l’ensenyança
Museum of Fine Arts Xàtiva
Nº 2, Plaça Arzobispo Mayoral
Telephone: 962 282 455

Visiting hours
From Monday to Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. / 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sundays and public holidays: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Adults: 2’40 euros.
Children under 10: free entry.
Retirees: 1’20 euros.
Groups over 10: 1’20 euros.
Free admission on Sunday.