The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum offers visitors an overview of art from the 13th century to the late 20th century, the major periods of western art such as the Mannerism, Renaissance, the Baroque, Romanticism, Rococo and the art of the 19th and 20th centuries up to Pop Art. It has nearly one thousand works on display. The museum also features works from other movements such as Fauvism, Impressionism, German Expressionism and the experimental avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. It also boasts an important collection of 19th-century American painting not found in any other European museum institutions.
Aside from its panoramic perspective, the collection housed in the museum also offers us an idea of the preferences and tastes of the two persons principally responsible for its existence, Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. Both men showed a particular predilection for portraits and landscapes as the Central European artistic tradition said. This is evident in the works of the museum, in contrast with the predominance of historical and religious paintings found in other Spanish museums. The Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection was brought to the Museum in 2004, adding over two hundred works that round out the representation of styles and genres already present in the Permanent Collection.