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The Flagellation
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Crespi, Daniele
The Flagellation
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Crespi, Daniele

This scene depicts the moment just prior to Christ’s flagellation when his hands are tied behind his back, revealing his finely painted body. The most restrained of Crespi’s depictions of this episode, it is devoid of the Caravaggesque influence evident in his earlier versions. Philip IV acquired the canvas from the heirs of the Genoese Marquis Giovan Francesco Serra who died in 1656.

The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1595
Crespi, Giovanni Battista, Il Cerano
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1595
Crespi, Giovanni Battista, Il Cerano

While the Holy Family rest on the flight into Egypt the Christ Child is bathed in a river, a subject clearly alluding to baptism. One of the angels bears a palm of martyrdom, a reference to both Christ´s Passion and to the Massacre of the Innocents which the Infant Christ had escaped. This early work by Cerano was in the collection of Queen Isabella Farnese.

Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1650
Ceresa, Carlo
Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1650
Ceresa, Carlo

This canvas, which was previously attributed to Velázquez, depicts an unknown sitter with a serious, slightly melancholy expression, looking intently at the viewer. Ceresa, who worked in Bergamo in northern Italy, used extremely thin glazes that allow the red ground to show through. His style was influenced by Daniele Crespi and Guido Reni, whose work is also on display in this room.

Lot and his Daughters
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Furini, Francesco
Lot and his Daughters
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Furini, Francesco

An outstanding work in Francesco Furini’s oeuvre and one of the most sensual and morbid of all Italian Baroque paintings, Lot and his daughters, c.1634, depicts the Old Testament story of Lot (Genesis 19:30-38), who escaped the destruction of Sodom thanks to a warning from the angels charged with its obliteration. Lot’s wife, who failed to obey their order not to look back, was turned into a pilla

Pietà
Oil on canvas. 1626
Crespi, Daniele
Pietà
Oil on canvas. 1626
Crespi, Daniele

Pieta, 1626, was acquired by Charles II in 1689 at the auction of Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán, seventh Marquis of Carpio, who was the Spanish King’s ambassador to Rome and subsequently his viceroy in Naples. In Italy, de Haro patronised numerous artists, becoming the leading private Spanish collector in the second half of the seventeenth century. After the King acquired this work, it was sent t

Cleopatra
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Reni, Guido
Cleopatra
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Reni, Guido

Cleopatra VII (r. 51-30 BCE) was the sovereign of Egypt and the last representative of its final royal family, the Ptolemaic dynasty. Feeling that all was lost after her armies and those of her Roman lover and consort, Mark Antony (83-30 BCE), were successively defeated and the latter was killed, she chose to end her own life to avoid being captured by their mutual enemy, Octavian, the future Empe

Saint Peter
Oil on canvas. 1633 - 1634
Reni, Guido
Saint Peter
Oil on canvas. 1633 - 1634
Reni, Guido

Reni’s contemporaries recognised his remarkable ability to depict the worn appearance of old age, contrasting with the youthful beauty of his female images. Saint Peter and Saint Paul (P00220) were in the collection of the 2nd Count of Castrillo, Viceroy of Naples between 1653 and 1659.

Vases of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)
Vases of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)

These four paintings of flowers and sumptuary objects (P250, P251, P252 and P3239) are part of those sent from Rome to Madrid by Mario Nuzzi and other artists for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace. Nuzzi, also known as Mario dei Fiori, studied with his uncle Tommaso Salini, a follower of Caravaggio and one of the first still-life specialists active in Rome after the latter’s death. Nuzzi dr

Vases and Onions
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)
Vases and Onions
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)

These four paintings of flowers and sumptuary objects (P250, P251, P252 and P3239) are part of those sent from Rome to Madrid by Mario Nuzzi and other artists for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace. Nuzzi, also known as Mario dei Fiori, studied with his uncle Tommaso Salini, a follower of Caravaggio and one of the first still-life specialists active in Rome after the latter’s death. Nuzzi dr

The Birth of Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Sacchi, Andrea
The Birth of Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Sacchi, Andrea

The Infant Baptist is attended by four women while Zacharias thanks the heavens for the birth of his son. In the middle ground is Saint Elizabeth. The intense colours allow the painting to be dated to the early years of the artist’s career. A pupil of Albani (1578-1660) and the teacher of Maratta (1625-1713), Sacchi played an important role in the development of the most classical type of Baroque

Susannah and the Elders
Oil on canvas. 1617
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Susannah and the Elders
Oil on canvas. 1617
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Historian Denis Mahon has masterfully shown that this painting and two other famous works by Guercino -Lot and his daughters (Monastery of El Escorial, Madrid) and The return of the Prodigal Son (Galleria Sabauda, Turin)- were painted for Cardinal Alessandro Ludovisi in 1617 and 1618, while the artist was in Bologna.According to the Old Testament (Daniel:13), Archian and Sedechia were two elderly

Triumphal Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1609
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)
Triumphal Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1609
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)

Domenico Zampieri, called Domenichino, a Bolognese, painted this arch in celebration of Saint John the Baptist in Rome, and through it acknowledged his friend and protector Giovanni Battista Agucchi, a great theorist of Roman classicism. The emblems and biblical passages on the architecture allude to virtues associated with the saint. The painting comes from the collection of the painter Carlo Mar

Overturned Silver Vase on a Cloth
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)
Overturned Silver Vase on a Cloth
Oil on canvas. 1640 - 1642
Nuzzi, Mario (Mario Dei Fiori)

These four paintings of flowers and sumptuary objects (P250, P251, P252 and P3239) are part of those sent from Rome to Madrid by Mario Nuzzi and other artists for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace. Nuzzi, also known as Mario dei Fiori, studied with his uncle Tommaso Salini, a follower of Caravaggio and one of the first still-life specialists active in Rome after the latter’s death. Nuzzi dr

Saint Peter freed by an Angel
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Saint Peter freed by an Angel
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

A youthful looking angel with curly hair imperiously points out the path of freedom to an astonished Saint Peter, depicted as a man of advanced age confined in a prison. In the background, clad in a suit of armour, the gaoler sleeps, impervious to what is going on behind his back. The two main figures are attired in vaguely classical dress: that of the angel is simple but sumptuous, in accordance

The Toilet of Venus
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Albani, Francesco
The Toilet of Venus
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Albani, Francesco

Francesco Albani was a much favoured pupil of Annibale Carracci. His success was partially due to mythological paintings such as The toilet of Venus (P1) and The judgement of Paris (P2), whose refined and lyrical view of nature helped disseminate the classical ideals of the Carracci`s landscapes. The toilet of Venus, c. 1635-40, is one of many versions Albani made of this subject (the most famous

Saint Paul
Oil on canvas. 1633 - 1634
Reni, Guido
Saint Paul
Oil on canvas. 1633 - 1634
Reni, Guido

Reni’s contemporaries recognised his remarkable ability to depict the worn appearance of old age, contrasting with the youthful beauty of his female images. Saint Peter (P00219) and Saint Paulwere in the collection of the 2nd Count of Castrillo, Viceroy of Naples between 1653 and 1659.

Roman Naumachia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano
Roman Naumachia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano

Giovanni Lanfranco painted at least six works that can be related to the commission to decorate the Buen Retiro Palace. The first five are at the Museo del Prado -Auspices in Rome (P236); Scene of Triumph (P2943); Funeral Rites for a Roman Emperor (P234); Gladiators at a Banquet (P3091) and Roman Naumachia- while the sixth, Triumph of a Roman Emperor with two Captive Kings, belongs to Patrimonio N

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on unlined canvas. 1616 - 1620
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on unlined canvas. 1616 - 1620
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare

In the Garden of Gethsemane an angel comforts Christ before his crucifixion, while the three Apostles slumber nearby. Procaccini was the most renowned member of a Bolognese family of artists which had settled in Milan. His work reflects a heightened, dramatic religious sensibility with large figures located close the picture plane, as in this example in which Christ’s troubled face contrasts with

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