Sandu Darie, Untitled (ca. 1953) Work shown at the Santander Art Gallery during the exhibition Visions of Earth / The Planned World: Luís Paulo Montenegro Collection

Banco Santander

Fundación Banco Santander is responsible for managing, preserving and promoting the Banco Santander Collection, assembled over more than 160 years by the various financial institutions that form what is now Banco Santander.

These diverse roots are reflected in the variety of artists, periods, styles and genres represented in the collection. Although the collection boasts important examples of 16th and 17th-century Flemish, Dutch and Italian painting, the core of its pictorial holdings is Spanish painting, with works from the late Middle Ages to the present day. The sculpture collection consists largely of contemporary pieces by renowned Spanish and foreign artists, although it also contains several remarkable specimens of Spanish sculpture from the 17th and 18th centuries. As for drawing, the collection includes a fascinating array of works by 20th-century Spanish artists, from Anglada-Camarasa and Nonell to Eduardo Arroyo and Tàpies. The decorative arts department features splendid collections of tapestries, ceramics, furniture and clocks. Fundación Banco Santander also owns an important number of notes and coins, comprising 960 pieces minted between the third century BC and the 20th century, which offer visitors an interesting survey of Spain’s history.

The collection is living, growing and constantly under study. In order to make its holdings more widely known, over the past several years the foundation has developed several multimedia resources. Its website offers detailed information on four hundred examples of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts, as well as a complete minisite dedicated to the coin collection. Thanks to gigapixel photography, website users can also admire every last detail of masterpieces by El Greco, Gutiérrez Solana and Sorolla, and the series of canvases that Sert created to decorate the dining room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.


In 2018, the foundation loaned the following works from the Banco Santander Collection to be included in various exhibitions.

The Banco Santander Collection on display at the Santander
Art Gallery

Santander Art Gallery

Twelve years ago the Santander Art Gallery opened a 3,000-metre-square space in Grupo Santander City (Boadilla del Monte, Madrid) to serve as a permanent showcase for the bank’s art collection.

Additionally, since 2010 Fundación Banco Santander has organised temporary exhibitions at the gallery of prestigious private contemporary art collections, such as the Daros Latinamerica Collection (2010), Collezione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (2011), Rubell Family Collection (2012), Cranford Collection (2013), Grażyna Kulczyk Collection (2014), Goetz Collection (2015), the Qatar Museums Collection (2016) and the Isabel and Agustín Coppel Collection (2017). As part of this programme, in 2018 works from the Luís Paulo Montenegro Collection were shown under the title Visions of Earth / The Planned World.



Free guided tours of both the Banco Santander Collection and temporary exhibitions are offered from Monday to Friday. Free transport to the Santander Art Gallery is also available from the centre of Madrid, where visitors can board a bus at Paseo de la Castellana 103.

1,642 visitors in 2018


Grupo Santander City employees can enjoy free guided tours of the art gallery every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 3 pm. Additionally, guided tours of the outdoor sculptures in Financial City are offered every Monday at the same time.

1,239 participants in 2018

Cultural Groups

The art gallery offers guided tours in Spanish or English for cultural associations, groups of university students and internal Financial City groups.

7,569 participants in 2018


Free guided tours for families are offered on the weekends. Planned activities aim to engage people of all ages in the experience of discovering art.

966 participants in 2018


On Tuesdays and Fridays, the gallery offers group tours of both the Banco Santander Collection and the temporary exhibitions specifically designed for primary school pupils. Teachers are also given access to learning resources that can be used to prepare for their visit in the classroom.

2,132 participants in 2018

Visitors with Cognitive and Sensory Diversity

In order to make art available to all audiences, the foundation has designed a special programme at the Santander Art Gallery for persons with physical, sensory (visual or hearing impairments) or cognitive disabilities (autism, cerebral palsy, etc.).

91 participants in 2018

Exhibition Visions of Earth / The Planned World: Luís Paulo Montenegro Collection at the Santander Art Gallery


In 2018, over 330,000 people visited the exhibitions organised or sponsored by Fundación Banco Santander:



Visions of Earth / The Planned World: Luís Paulo Montenegro Collection


A Paisagem nas Coleções do Banco Santander


Conexiones’15. Estefanía Martín Sáenz: Luxury and Mourning


Conexiones'16. Ignacio Uriarte: X, Y, Z


Letters to the King: The Humanitarian Mediation of Alfonso XIII in the Great War


The Guest Work: Pablo Ruiz Picasso


The Guest Work: Rembrandt


The Guest Work: Juan Muñoz


*(as at 31 December 2018)

Schoolchildren participating in the educational project Levadura at Medialab-Prado


Fundación Banco Santander sponsors the educational programmes of several leading cultural institutions with the aim of encouraging creativity and promoting a better understanding of contemporary art.

Educational Projects

Participants in 2018

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía




Centre d'Art la Panera






Detail of 190,56, a work created by Regina de Miguel for the Derivada project

Supporting Artistic Production


In 2018, Fundación Banco Santander launched a new project to support artistic production, Derivada, with the aim of highlighting the role of women in the art world, getting new audiences interested in cutting-edge art, and encouraging people to collect art.

The foundation’s first initiative focused on the production of works on paper also prioritises artists whose work is influenced by scientific theories or concepts in an attempt to build bridges between art and science, two of the pillars of Fundación Banco Santander's activity.

The first edition of this project featured Regina de Miguel (Málaga, 1977), a multidisciplinary artist who produces works in a wide variety of formats that always express her interest in challenging certainties. The piece she created, 190,56, is filled with autobiographical references to the artist’s travels in Mexico and Antarctica. The text that accompanies the work, written by freelance curator and artist Anaïs Senli, gives us the clues we need to decipher its meaning.

A limited edition of 360 numbered and signed copies was produced. The work combines a variety of traditional and innovative techniques: photogravure, digital printing and brass stamping. The result is a delicate yet emphatic piece framed by a meticulous design.

Fundación Banco Santander Award for Artistic Production

In 2018 the foundation, in collaboration with Open Studio, issued the 6th call to apply for its Award for Artistic Production, an initiative that aims to boost the careers of young artists.

Spanish artists who do not have their own work space in Madrid are eligible to apply. The prize consists of a three-month residency in a Madrid studio and a stipend of three thousand euros to cover production costs.

In 2018, the jury granted the award to Mario Santamaría (Burgos, 1985) based on the innovative quality of his proposal, a combination of technology, politics and body poetics.


Fundación Banco Santander and the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) organised the first edition of Binomio, a programme intended to unite art and science.

Two prominent individuals in these fields were chosen to inaugurate the project: scientist Margarita Salas and visual artist Eva Lootz. Their collaboration gave rise to an audiovisual piece and a series of 59 drawings made by Lootz and inspired by Salas’s discoveries in molecular biology, which were exhibited at the CNIO from 7 February to 6 May 2018.

Visitors at ARCOmadrid, the contemporary art fair

Supporting Collectors

Knowing the important role that collectors play in the contemporary art world, Fundación Banco Santander offers guided tours and buying advice at the leading art fairs in Madrid, as well as debates and lectures on the importance of art collecting in Spain.


At ARCOmadrid, the contemporary art fair, since 2011 Fundación Banco Santander has sponsored First Collectors, a programme managed by the consulting firm Arte Global that offers free personalised advice to prospective art collectors. Through this service, first-time buyers can find works suited to their tastes and budgets with the help of a team that knows everything available at the fair.

Additionally, the foundation sponsors two round table debates at the Collectors' Forum. In 2018, Professor Estrella de Diego led and moderated these discussions, featuring the collectors João Carlos Figueiredo Ferraz, Luís Paulo Montenegro and Han Nefkens, and the cultural manager and director of the Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Claudia Hakim.

UIMP summer course

In partnership with the Menéndez Pelayo International University, in 2018 the foundation organised a session on contemporary art collecting and appreciation titled The New Encyclopaedists. Artists and Collectors: Sensible and Smart. The course was directed by artist and essayist Joan Fontcuberta and featured the participation of Corinne Vionnet, Ira Lombardía, Fernando Castro, Pilar Serra and other prominent figures in the art world.


At Estampa 2018—held at the IFEMA fair grounds for the first time this year, confirming its status as one of the leading events for contemporary art collectors and gallerists in Spain—the foundation sponsored the programme A Collector’s Guide, through which members of the 9915 Association of Private Contemporary Art Collectors offer free guided tours of the fair, pointing out the galleries and artists they find most interesting.

It also supported the fifth Collect seminar, organised by the fair and the Spanish Secretary of State for Culture, where prestigious professionals offer insight into the world of collecting and the art market. This year, discussions revolved around specific aspects of patronage and the cultural dimension of contemporary art collecting in our country. The seminar sessions were held at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Patio Herreriano, the studios of Radio Nacional de España, El Instante Fundación, Club Financiero Génova, Nave Sánchez Ubiría, Tasman Projects, the Matadero Madrid Film Library, and the Santander Art Gallery.


The foundation does important work in the field of art publishing, producing catalogues of every exhibition it organises.

Mitsuo Miura, Summer Breeze (1990). Exhibition Mitsuo Miura. Obra gráfica y múltiples. Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo


Foundation of Friends of the Prado Museum

Fundación Banco Santander sponsors the annual lecture series organised by the Foundation of Friends of the Prado Museum about the rich heritage held at this institution. In October 2018, Francisco Calvo Serraller opened a thoughtprovoking series on Fantastic Art which, until March 2019, will analyse examples of this art form ranging from ancient Egypt to the present day and explore how fantasy is manifested in the visual arts, film, literature, architecture and music.

Friends of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Fundación Banco Santander assists the Friends of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in their efforts to preserve and publicise exceptional works of art in the museum’s collection. The support of these Friends enables the museum to carry out various projects, including the magnificent temporary exhibitions that draw thousands of visitors each year.

Artium, Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo

The foundation is one of several corporate sponsors that support the activities of the Centro-Museo Vasco de Arte Contemporáneo. This institution owns a substantial collection of modern and contemporary art begun by the Provincial Council of Álava in the mid-1970s.

Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo (IAC)

The foundation also supports contemporary art by collaborating with Instituto de Arte Contemporáneo (IAC), an independent association of contemporary art professionals (museum directors, artists, critics, collectors, etc.). The association pursues initiatives to promote the creation of an institutional network of contemporary art and ensure compliance with best practices.

9915 Association of Collectors

The foundation is a supporter of the 9915 Association of Private Contemporary Art Collectors, created to defend the interests of art collectors, find solutions to the unique problems they face, publicise their activity and advocate the private collector as a key player in the international art market.