The Museo Nacional del Prado is celebrating National Book Day 2013 in a special way, with the launch of the first official APP of the Museum: The Prado Guide for iPad

Aimed at a world-wide audience, this App is now available in five languages: Spanish, English, French, Italian and Portuguese, while from the end of May it will also be offered in German, Russian and Japanese. This App makes the “core” of the Collection available to everyone interested in the history of world art and is aimed at both the general user and experts. It features reproductions of 400 works in exceptionally high quality, accompanied by concise, rigorous and accessible texts written by a team of specialists coordinated by the Museum. First published in its printed version in 2008, 240,000 copies of The Prado Guide are currently in circulation in the 8 languages in which the App format is now also available.

Thursday 18 April 2013

The App now makes worldwide distribution possible, bringing the Collection to all iPad users and in particular to the nationalities that most visit Museum: the Italians, Americans, French and Japanese. In 2012, 7.6% of visitors came from Italy, 6% from the USA, 4.55% from France and 3.76% from Japan.

The Museo del Prado had more than 4.5 million visits to its website in 2012, which is a higher number than the record for actual visits to the Museum: 3 million in 2012. Within the context of the present economic crisis that has resulted in a decrease in visitor numbers to the Museum, the importance of this new initiative should certainly be assessed in the sense of its effectiveness as a means of promoting the Prado as an embodiment of universal culture profoundly associated with Spain. An additional factor is the enormous potential of the Spanish language (according to the Instituto Cervantes, it is spoken by more than 495 million people worldwide and is the second language by number of speakers in the world and the second for international communication).

In April 2008 the Museum presented the printed edition of The Prado Guide, which is a publication of a type traditionally produced by museums in the English-speaking world. More than 240,000 copies are now in circulation. Now, in April 2013, the Prado is the first museum to update its complete guide as an App. In addition to increasing dissemination of the Collection and knowledge of it, this Guide responds to the need to make information on the Museum and images of the works accessible to all users in an official version approved by the Prado, as opposed to other versions that have appeared in different formats and which are not of the required quality.

The App format allows for complete freedom when planning a visit and enables visitors to enjoy their experience of the works in an individual manner without the need for guided tours etc. It also offers a more flexible access to the contents, which are now presented by schools and chronologically within each school. Navigation has been optimised to make it as simple and comprehensible as possible while the visual content is particularly impressive, including improved quality reproductions of the works following their recent restoration, now optimised for iPad and viewable for iPad with retina display.

The selection of the 400 principal works in the Permanent Collection encompasses the core of the Museum’s holdings. They are presented chronologically and grouped according to the most important international schools: Spanish, Italian, Flemish, Dutch, French, German and British, plus two sections on the collection of works on paper and on sculpture and the decorative arts. The selection of works reflects the striking differences between the schools and artists represented in the Prado, within which Velázquez occupies a key role, followed by Goya, El Greco, Titian, Bosch and Rubens.

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