As if nobody had heard there was an economic crisis going on, a number of ambitious cultural events are heading to the Spanish capital in 2013. One of the most eagerly awaited is the show the Reina Sofía Museum is set to dedicate to Salvador Dalí from April 24 to September 2, sure to be one of the blockbuster hits of the year. Organized in conjunction with the Pompidou Center in Paris, it seeks to reappraise the artist as a thinker, writer and creator of a very particular vision of the world, placing particular focus on his surrealist period.
Over at the Thyssen, meanwhile, they are busy preparing Impressionism and Open-air Painting. From Corot to Van Gogh , which runs February 5 to May 12. Spanning the period 1780 to 1900, the exhibition will look at the way outdoor painting transformed and modernized 19th-century art, starting with pioneering al fresco artists such as Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Thomas Jones, and continuing with works by the likes of Turner, Constable, Corot, Rousseau, Courbet, Daubigny and all the main Impressionists.
Treading similar territory, the Fundación Mapfre will host Impresionistas, postimpresionistas y el nacimiento del arte moderno (or, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and the birth of modern art) from February 2 to May 5, which features 78 masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Renoir, Seurat, Van Gogh and Cézanne from the collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
The Prado, meanwhile, is dipping into its vast archives with El Labrador (March 11-June 16), dedicated to 17th-century Spanish still-life specialist Juan Fernández, and Hidden Beauty (May 14-November 10), featuring a selection of its most delightful small-scale works. The gallery will also host Spanish Drawings from the British Museum: Renaissance to Goya from March 18 to June 19, which will present, for the first time outside the UK, works by the likes of Velázquez, Alonso Cano, Murillo, Zurbarán and Ribera from the London museum's collection.
Other upcoming shows of note include Miquel Barceló at the Elvira González Gallery from January 26 to March 27 and, from February 6 to May 5, the Spanish National Library's show Durero grabador , devoted to the engravings of German master Albrecht Dürer.
Away from the galleries, two big events at the Teatro Real are also worth looking out for: the world premiere of Philip Glass's new opera The Perfect American , based on the life of Walt Disney, on January 22 and, in February and March, Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke's version of his countryman Mozart's Così fan tutte , with Sylvain Cambreling as conductor. Incidentally, Haneke's latest movie, the Palme d'Or-winning Amour , is released in Spain this week.