Founded as a "Museum of Paintings" in 1835, it opened in 1841 with works from confiscated convents and monasteries, occupying the former Convent of La Merced Calzada, founded by San Pedro Nolasco after the conquest of Seville in 1248.
The collections are in line with its historical development: confiscated ecclesiastical assets, donations from private collections formed during the 19th and early 20th centuries and acquisitions by public administrations in recent decades.
Sevillian painting and its history, particularly the 17th century, is the main theme in the museum, although the museum has very diverse collections (painting, sculpture, ceramics, gold and silver work, furniture, etc.).
This museum is an absolute reference in Sevillian Baroque: Murillo, Zurbarán, Valdés Leal and others. Due to the quality of the works it contains in its 14 exhibition rooms, it is considered one of the best art galleries in Spain.
The building, articulated around three courtyards and a large staircase, and its current configuration is due to the transformations carried out since the beginning of the 17th century. Juan de Oviedo y de la Bandera presented the plans for the construction in 1603, which began with the demolition of the old Mudejar building. In 1612 the temple was completed, and almost a century and a half later the rest of the factory, resulting in a beautiful example of Andalusian Mannerism.