Madrid has been transformed into a festival of art, thanks to the two exhibitions that the Mapfre Foundation has dedicated to the birth of modern art.

One exhibition features 78 impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, while the other examines the birth of Bohemian art through 100 works.

Combining the two exhibitions makes tremendous sense, Mapfre Culture Institute director Pablo Jimenez Burillo said.

The exhibition of impressionist and post-impressionist works shows the evolution of art as language, "and to tell the story of the evolution toward the 20th century it was necessary to also show the myth of the Bohemian artist," Jimenez Burillo said.

Both Jimenez Burillo and Caroline Mathieu, the curators of "Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The Birth of Modern Art," and Musee d'Orsay president Guy Cogeval said the exhibition provided a special opportunity bring together these masterpieces.

"We are presenting the heart of our collection, the best part. Never before have such great works been shown in one hall. It's a real bombshell," Cogeval said.

The last impressionist exhibition took place in 1886, with the school evolving since then into different streams. EFE