Line 4

Lines with art: Line 4, eclecticism from West to East

We continue to explore hidden pieces of art in the Madrid metro. Today it is the turn of L4, which runs from Argüelles to Pinar de Chamartín

10-01-2023

An eclectic line, born in 1944 with the Argüelles-Goya section and which would later integrate the stations of the old branch of Line 2 (with older stations such as Diego de León and Lista). With an axis running from west to east, its last stations, on the section from Hortaleza to Pinar de Chamartín, date from 2007. And all this variety is reflected in its artistic elements. Shall get on?

Argüelles

Let's start at the beginning: the head of this line has a mosaic of colours, created by J. Ruiz in 1995. This element, located at the entrance to Argüelles station from Calle Princesa, represents some of the most emblematic places in this area of Madrid: the Parque del Oeste, its nearby buildings, the cable car, and even an aeroplane flying through the skies. All of this framed by a Metro portico, with its rhombus and the name of the station itself.   

Mosaico estación de Argüelles

 

Bilbao

The historical imprint of this station, which was one of the first eight in the Metro network, can be seen in an advertising mural from the period which was restored in 2020. Made in white tiles with a dark frame, it advertises a radio repair shop and is accompanied by a collection of historical photographs showing the construction of the first Metro line. Pure city history!

Mosaico antiguo estación de Bilbao

In addition to this historic mural, there is a mosaic in the station's central lobby depicting a bridge under a blue sky, with the figures of a couple and a man. It seems to be the Bizkaia Bridge -or Portugalete Bridge-, in the Bilbao estuary, and some even see Hitchcock's silhouette in the figure of the solitary character, perhaps in reference to the director's visit to the city of Bilbao in 1959.

Mosaico puente vestíbulo estación de Bilbao

 

Goya

The Goya Station pays tribute to the painter after whom it is named with an extensive exhibition of his work. The platforms of Line 2 display several reproductions, including "Autorretrato ante el caballete" (Self-portrait at an easel).

Reproducción autorretrato de Goya

And on the platforms of Line 4, 80 engravings and etchings are on display. In addition to reproductions of his emblematic series Los Caprichos, there are also examples from the series La Tauromaquia and Los Desastres de la Guerra. A unique opportunity to contemplate the work of a great master.

Grabados estación de Goya

 

Diego de León

This station has two ceramic murals by Juan Márquez. If you look closely, in the first of these, located in the foyer, you can see that the two areas separated by a horizontal line seem to simulate the effect of a city reflected in the water. He achieves this by combining different geometric shapes in shades of red, white and blue.

Mural vestíbulo Diego de León

Also made in ceramic, the second mural by this artist from Murcia is located in the access corridor to Line 6 and is made up of several large figures, with a great raised effect, in shades of green, blue and brown.

Mural estación Diego de León

 

Avenida de América

The station with the most users in the entire Metro network has a large mosaic on the discovery of America, located in the main concourse leading to the interchange. Created by Santiago Uranga, the scene depicts Columbus' arrival on the island of Guanahaní, in the Antilles archipelago, on 12 October 1492.

Mural Avenida de América

 

Avenida de la Paz

In Avenida de la Paz we find a mural by the artist Natalia Sánchez Panadero, located in the main lobby: a tree growing surrounded by the warm orange of the enamelled plates that surround it.

Mural Avenida de la Paz

Hortaleza

In the lobby of this station, a large mural depicts the columns that support the station's structure. The novelty of this element is that this image is made from a collage of 3,796 photographs of the station's construction works. Entitled "Phortaleza", the mural, created by the brothers Juan Carlos and Francisco Javier Melero, thus becomes a great tribute to the arrival of Metro to this neighbourhood.

Mural estación de Hortaleza

 

Pinar de Chamartín

And at the last station on the line, two very different elements are on show.

A large mural by the artist Sergio Gil García, located in the main lobby, depicts a grove of trees that pays homage to the original pine forest of the area, which also gives its name to the station. A forest that seems to want to grow out of its structure and whose spectacular size makes it visible to all travellers.

Mural Pinar de Chamartín

In addition, also in the lobby, you can enjoy an old blue and white tram, like the ones that used to run in Madrid until well into the 20th century. The unit is located on the bridge that supports Light Railway Line 1, placed on rails laid on cobblestone paving.

Tranvía antiguo Pinar de Chamartín

Line 4 has a few more surprises in store, so we encourage you to keep digging...

And if you want to know more about art in the Metro, you have all the details, station by station, in our cultural guide. And some more listening curiosities on the 'Arte en Metro’ podcast, available on Youtube, Spotify and Ivoox.

Lines with art: Line 1, a journey between the past and the future

Lines with art: Line 2, a mix of styles and even an underground archaeological museum 

Lines with art: L3, a stroll through starry skies, key works of literature and striking mosaics