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Offering to Ceres
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Jordaens, Jacques
Offering to Ceres
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Jordaens, Jacques

Crowned with wheat, as goddess of the Earth, Ceres holds a horn filled with fruit, a symbol of the abundance and fertility that characterizes her. She receives homage from a group of peasants, who bear an offering of the products they receive from the earth they farm. This goddess taught humans to use the plow and to farm, to which the painter alludes by including oxen in the work. Ceres also embo

Marie de Medici, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul
Marie de Medici, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul

Dressed completely in black, with a widow´s headdress and simple jewelry, Marie de Medici is portrayed as the Queen Mother, after having governed France as a Reagent from 1610 to 1617. As one of Rubens´s most outstanding patrons, the queen commissioned him to decorate her Luxemburg Palace in Paris with a series of works that glorified her figure and that of her husband, Henri IV. Rubens began the

Anne of Austria, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul
Anne of Austria, Queen of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Rubens, Peter Paul

Felipe III´s daughter, Anne of Austria, married young Louis XIII in 1615. She is depicted wearing black, French-style clothing, seated under a green canopy that is embroidered with fleurs de lis from the Bourbon family coat of arms. The portrait is set in the Hall of Caryatids of the Louvre Royal Palace, seat of the government. Thus, this is an official portrait and an example of Rubens´ capacity

The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

Various figures surround Christ and mock him. An armed soldier and an executioner place the Crown of Thorns on his head while another offers him a cane as his scepter. The scene is contemplated by two other figures through a window. This work from Van Dyck’s youth is strongly influenced by Venetian painting, and in fact, Jesus’ figure is directly based on a model by Titian. The composition, with C

The Taking of Christ
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Taking of Christ
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

In the darkness of the Mount of Olives, Jesus receives the kiss that consummates Judas´ betrayal while Peter cuts off the ear of Malco, the High Priest´s servant, with his sword, as described in the Bible story. This work from Van Dyck´s youth is directly based on Venetian models. The low viewpoint and the use of a single source of light contribute to its great dramatic intensity

Head of Old Men
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
Head of Old Men
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

A bearded, grey-haired old man turns his head to the left over a black background. This is similar to another head by the same artist (P01694) and is probably a sketch or model for a larger work, intended to study expressions and posture. This work is from the artist´s youth, as can be seen in the rough texture of the brushstrokes on the face, which link it to other portraits from his first period

The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

The daughter of King Constus, Catherine of Alexandria lived in the early 4th century and was a martyr for her Christian faith. Famous for her beauty, wisdom, eloquence and chastity, she is frequently depicted at the moment of her mystical union with Christ.The center of the composition is the ring that the Christ child places on Catherine, who is shown in the sumptuous clothing and jewels that cor

The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

This dramatic scene from the Old Testament (Numbers 21, 5-9) depicts the moment when Moses saves his people from the snakes sent by God as punishment for their lack of faith. The bronze serpent on a rod, whose mere contemplation is sufficient to cure anyone bitten by a snake, symbolizes salvation. The image thus foreshadows Christ’s crucifixion, which brings redemption to humankind and triumphs ov

The Lamentation
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Lamentation
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

Christ rests, lifeless, on his own shroud. He is held by his Mother, who looks imploringly to the heavens. Mary Magdalene kisses his hand while Saint John contemplates the scene from behind. The Crown, Nails and Hebrew, Greek and Latin inscription on a paper in the foreground recall the Crucifixion. Jesus’ posture on Mary’s knees and the work’s dramatic presentation are linked to the Medieval Germ

Head of Old Men
Oil on paper attached to panel. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
Head of Old Men
Oil on paper attached to panel. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

A bearded, grey-haired old man turns his head to the left over a black background. This is similar to another head by the same artist (P1491) and is probably a sketch or model for a larger work, intended to study expressions and posture.This head reflect a practice widespread among seventeenth-century artists of painting life studies in preparation for the faces of the figures in their religious a

Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Dyck, Anthony Van
Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Dyck, Anthony Van

This is one of a number of images of Saint Rosalia that Van Dyck painted in Sicily, where he lived from 1624 to 1625. It depicts the hermit saint in her cave on Mount Pellegrino near Palermo. Rosalia’s cult gained popularity during the outbreak of the plague that devastated the city in the 1620s.

The Painter's Family
Oil on canvas. 1621 - 1622
Jordaens, Jacques
The Painter's Family
Oil on canvas. 1621 - 1622
Jordaens, Jacques

This attractive group portrait, one of the most interesting of the 17th-century Dutch school on account of its bourgeois spirit with aristocratic leanings, is an extraordinary skilful depiction of the artist´s close family. Jordaens portrays himself with his wife Catharina van Noort and their first child Elizabeth, born on 26 June 1617, whose age allows us to date the work approximately. Cat

Man with a Lute
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1627
Dyck, Anthony Van
Man with a Lute
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1627
Dyck, Anthony Van

A young man holds a musical instrument that has been identified as a long-necked lute or guitarrón. His black clothing and the dark background leave his flesh tones and the white touches of his collar and cuffs as the only highlights, thus drawing the eye to his face and hands. This was a customary formula in Baroque portraits.The sitter’s expert grasp of his instrument indicates his famili

Pietà
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1629
Dyck, Anthony Van
Pietà
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1629
Dyck, Anthony Van

The scene depicts one of the most dramatic moments of the Passion and Death of Christ, when the Virgin, accompanied by Mary Magdalene who kisses the Redeemer´s hand, and by Saint John who contemplates the scene, assumes her greatest significance in her role as mother during the moments immediately after the loss of her Son in the tragedy of Mount Calvary. Van Dyck succeeds in expressing this

The Painter Martin Ryckaert
Oil on panel. Ca. 1631
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Painter Martin Ryckaert
Oil on panel. Ca. 1631
Dyck, Anthony Van

The famous Flemish painter is portrayed almost full-length, sitting in a chair and wearing red robes and a fur coat. This landscape painter and contemporary of Van Dyck had no left arm, which is clearly shown, rather than hidden, in this portrait. In keeping with the Northern tradition of portraiture established by Anthonis Mor (1519-1576) and Adriaen Willem Key (1515/1520 - 1568), Van Dyck places

Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy
Oil on canvas. 1627 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van
Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy
Oil on canvas. 1627 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van

The saint is depicted leaning on a boulder, in a state of mystical ecstasy following his meditation on death. That meditation is symbolized by the skull, cross and book. He is comforted by a musician angel, as is told in the book The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (Part II, second consideration). This work is from the artist´s second period in Antwerp, where he lived from 1627 to 1632 before leav

Count Hendrik van den Bergh
Oil on canvas. 1627 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van
Count Hendrik van den Bergh
Oil on canvas. 1627 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van

Though of Dutch origin -he was Maurice of Nassau´s nephew- Hendrik van den Bergh remained faithful to the Catholic cause of the Spanish monarchy for quite some time. He was born in 1573 and died in 1638. He led the Spanish cavalry in Flanders brilliantly and valiantly during the first years of the Thirty Years´ War, but in 1632 he entered the service of the Dutch rebels. The image painted by Van D

Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van
Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1632
Dyck, Anthony Van

This more than half-length portrait of a man with a slit suit, a cape on his shoulder and a lace collar presents him in proud fashion, ostensibly with the sword that defines him as a nobleman. He was traditionally though to be the engraver, Paul du Pont, known as Paulus Pontius, because of their similar appearance, but the presence of a sword casts doubt on that identification. This work belongs t

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