In 1987, Pilar Silva Maroto obtained her doctorate of Art History at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid with a dissertation on La pintura hispanoflamenca castellana: Burgos y Palencia, awarded the Premio Extraordinario de Doctorado. From 1989 on, she was professor of Art History of the Modern Era (Renaissance and Baroque) at the Departamento de pintura española II of the Facultad de Geografia e Historia of the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. On 1st March 1997, she entered the Comisión de Servicios of the Museo Nacional del Prado as chief of the Departamento de pintura española (1100-1500) y pintura flamenca y escuelas del norte (1400-1600). In September 2017 she retired.
Her first field of research is Spanish painting of the fifteenth and of the first half of the sixteenth century. Her studies in this field comprise documentation, style, iconography, the application of new laboratory techniques (infrared reflectography, X-rays etc.) and the relation between art and society. From 1997 on, when she began to work for the Museo del Prado, her second field of research focuses on Flemish art and the northern schools of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Among her numerous publications, those regarding Bosch deserve special attention. From May till September 2016 (year in which the 500th anniversy of Bosch’s death was commemorated), Jheronimus Bosch was the theme of an exihibition in the Museo Nacional del Prado, of which Pilar Silva Maroto was the curator.