Since 1982, the Museum of Montserrat has displayed a collection of 19th and 20th century paintings which provides a very comprehensive and select view of Catalan painting from this period. These paintings are among the best representatives of Catalonia’s culture and personality. Almost all the works are private donations, such as the ones from Josep Sala Ardiz (1980) and from the architect Xavier Busquets i Sindreu (1990). The exemplary generosity of these patrons has been imitated by other people who view the Museum of Montserrat as the ideal place to conserve, study, display and disseminate works of public interest.
This section of the museum has the most holdings, and it is also the part that is the highest ranked in world museum classifications, especially in terms of Catalan painting, with pieces by Fortuny, Martí Alsina, Vayreda, Rusiñol, Casas, Nonell, Mir, Picasso, Torres-Garcia and Dalí, among others. Two hundred and seventy paintings are currently on display. It also features a small collection of paintings by the great masters of French Impressionism, the only one in Catalonia, with canvases by Degas, Sisley, Renoir, Monet and Pissarro.