La Plaza Mayor de Madrid fut construite en 1690 par Juan Gómez de Mora, elle remplace partiellement un ancien Plaza Mayor du XVIe siècle. Une statue équestre de Philippe III (réalisée par Jean Bologne et achevée après sa mort par le Florentin Pietro Tacca) est installée au centre, et on y découvre également la Casa de la Panadería XVIe siècle, facilement reconnaissable grâce aux fresques (1988) qui décorent sa façade. La Plaza Mayor fut un des centres les plus actifs de Madrid du XVIIe siècle. Des spectacles de tous genres s'y tenaient : des corridas, des jugements de l'Inquisition (avec ses bûchers) ou différents actes publics auxquels assistait la foule depuis les balcons qui la surplombent. Site incontournable pour les touristes, c'est le monument le plus emblématique de Madrid, très animé pendant la période de Noël et en été, quand elle est envahie de terrasse. La plaza mayor est accessible depuis 6 portes.
The term public art properly refers to works of art in any media that have been planned and executed with the specific intention of being sited or staged in the physical public domain, usually outside and accessible to all. The term is especially significant within the art world, amongst curators, commissioning bodies and practitioners of public art, to whom it signifies a particular working practice, often with implications of site specificity, community involvement and collaboration. The term is sometimes also applied to include any art which is exhibited in a public space including publicly accessible buildings.
In recent years, public art has increasingly begun to expand in scope and application — both into other wider and challenging areas of artform, and also across a much broader range of what might be called our 'public realm'. Such cultural interventions have often been realised in response to creatively engaging a community's sense of 'place' or 'well-being' in society.
Such commissions can still result in physical, permanent artworks and sculptures. These also often involve increasingly integrated and applied arts type applications. However, they are also beginning to include other, much more process-driven and action-research based artistic practices as well. As such, these do not always rely on the production of a physical or permanent artwork at all (though they still often do of course). This expanded scope of public art can embrace many diverse practices and artforms. These might be implemented as stand-alone, or as collaborative hybrids involving a multi-disciplinary approach. The range of its potential is of course endless, ever-changing, and subject to continual debate and differences of opinion among artists, funders, curators, and commissioning clients.