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Philip V
Oil on canvas. 1718 - 1722
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto
Philip V
Oil on canvas. 1718 - 1722
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto

This portrait of Philip V is based on a prototype devised by Meléndez in the 1720s. It combines a French model with the use of broad, zig-zagging brushstrokes typical of the Madrid Baroque style. The monarch´s notably idealised face is extremely delicately painted, with the paler tone of the broad brow suggesting the illumination of intelligence. Small highlights on the nose and lips emphas

Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea

Towards the edges of two moulded stone shelves rest two bronze vases with broad decorated bases and slender stems embraced, in one case by a group of tritons (P550) and, in the other by, a group of minute cherubs that support the upper section like dynamic Atlanteans (P549). These bases bear prodigious bouquets that are skilfully arranged with contrasting textures and colours that generate a marve

The Marquis of Caracena and his Cortège
Oil on canvas. 1664
Meulen, Adan Frans Van Der
The Marquis of Caracena and his Cortège
Oil on canvas. 1664
Meulen, Adan Frans Van Der

Traditionally thought to depict Louis XIV departing on a military campaign, this canvas in fact represents the cortège of a Spanish governor in Flanders. The principal figure in the carriage is probably Luis de Benavides y Carrillo, Marquis of Caracena (1608-1668). In other versions of his composition Van der Meulen made Louis XIV the protagonist.

Maria Anna of Neuburg, Queen of Spain, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. 1693 - 1694
Giordano, Luca
Maria Anna of Neuburg, Queen of Spain, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. 1693 - 1694
Giordano, Luca

Evoking the model of the great equestrian portraits painted for the Spanish Habsburgs by Titian, Rubens and Velázquez, Giordano offers his own idealised and triumphal depiction of Maria Anna of Neuburg. The Queen is shown in a landscape that recalls the Bay of Naples, both accompanied by allegorical figures. It is not clear if these canvases were the bases for large-scale portraits of the m

The Holy Family with the infant John the Baptist
Oil on panel. Ca. 1655
Giordano, Luca
The Holy Family with the infant John the Baptist
Oil on panel. Ca. 1655
Giordano, Luca

Giordano was particularly gifted at imitating the style of some of the celebrated masters of the past, as evident in this work which evokes Raphael’s pictorial language. More than a mere exercise in imitation, the presence on the rock on the right of two monograms with the letters “RSF VB” (Raphael Sanzio Faciebat Vrbinas) indicates the painter’s probable intention to produce a forgery.

Rose Bush in flower
Oil on canvas. 1680 - 1700
Caffi, Margherita
Rose Bush in flower
Oil on canvas. 1680 - 1700
Caffi, Margherita

In contrast to the floral compositions habitual in Baroque painting and in Caffi’s own work, this canvas shows different plants growing directly from the ground with the evident aim of conveying spontaneity. The flowering rose bush and cluster of tulips also contribute to this close-up vision of the natural world, differing from other works by the artist, which depict invented species.

Charles II, King of Spain, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1693
Giordano, Luca
Charles II, King of Spain, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1693
Giordano, Luca

Luca Giordano (1634-1705) made an equestrian portrait of Charles II for the Hall of Mirrors at Madrid’s Alcázar palace to emphasize the dynastic continuum in which Charles II constituted the latest link in a chain that had begun with Titian’s portrait of Charles V: Charles V at Mühlberg. The loss of Titian’s work in the fire that ravaged the Alcázar in 1734 makes it impossible t

Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1693
Giordano, Luca
Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1693
Giordano, Luca

Charles II is depicted in armour, wearing the emblem of the Golden Fleece and an ornate neck tie in the French style, an accessory he favoured when outside Madrid from around 1677. Despite these formal elements, Giordano makes little effort to disguise the King’s unattractive appearance. This canvas was previously considered to be by Claudio Coello (1642-1693).

Family in a Garden
Oil on canvas. 1679
Kessel el Joven, Jan Van
Family in a Garden
Oil on canvas. 1679
Kessel el Joven, Jan Van

This scene of a family in a garden is a rare example of a group portrait in Spanish 17th-century art. Its uniqueness is explained by the fact that it was painted by a Flemish artist based in Madrid, who also included his self-portrait looking out of a window. Despite the appearance of everyday normality, the unknown sitters are surrounded by a wide range of symbols that refer to the virtues of fam

Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Charles II was born in 1661, the only son of Philip IV and his second wife (and niece), Mariana of Austria, to survive to adulthood. Charles succeeded his father in 1665 and died without an heir in 1700 at the age of 39, thus bringing to an end the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. According to the date on this portrait, the king would have been 20 years old at the time. His long hair is worn in a similar

The Holy Family
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1732
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto
The Holy Family
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1732
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto

The motif of the sleeping Christ Child is a traditional image that prefigures his death. He is watched by Joseph and Mary, who is surrounded by the roses that symbolise her. She restrains the Infant Saint John the Baptist to prevent him from waking her son. When it entered the Museum’s collection this canvas was attributed to the still-life painter Luis Meléndez, but it was subsequently cat

Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea

Towards the edges of two moulded stone shelves rest two bronze vases with broad decorated bases and slender stems embraced, in one case by a group of tritons (P550) and, in the other by, a group of minute cherubs that support the upper section like dynamic Atlanteans (P549). These bases bear prodigious bouquets that are skilfully arranged with contrasting textures and colours that generate a marve

Isabella Farnese
Oil on canvas. 1718 - 1722
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto
Isabella Farnese
Oil on canvas. 1718 - 1722
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto

The brightly lit figure of Isabella Farnese stands out strongly against a dark background. Her face conforms to the highly idealised and slightly inexpressive prototype that Meléndez used in his numerous portraits of the Queen, but here he has paid particular attention to the depiction of the jewels. In the Queen´s hair a brooch with a large pearl secures the salmon pink ribbon that unfurls

The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1720 - 1726
Houasse, Michel-Ange
The Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1720 - 1726
Houasse, Michel-Ange

In his interpretation of the traditional subject of the Holy Family Houasse evokes the French tradition of the second half of the 17th century century, imbuing it with the currently fashionable Italianate air. Within the overall darkness a powerful light source highlights the figures of the Virgin and Child and the infant Saint John the Baptist. The less prominent Saint Joseph watches them from th

Louis XIV of France
Oil on canvas. 1701
Rigaud, Hyacinthe
Louis XIV of France
Oil on canvas. 1701
Rigaud, Hyacinthe

The absolute protagonist of this canvas is the Sun King, who governed France from 1643 to 1715. He was only five years old when he took the throne after the death of his father, Louis XIII, but the early years of his reign were under the regency of his mother, Queen Anne of Austria (1601-1666), who was the sister of Philip IV of Spain and of Cardinal Mazarino (1602-1661). The image is completely m

Charles II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1680
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1680
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

The most characteristic depiction of Felipe IV towards the end of his life is a half-length one, wearing dark clothes with the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck and standing out against a similarly dark background. More than twenty copies of this model devised by Velázquez are known. While portraits of Carlos II are generally full-length and include a more complex set

Philip V on horseback
Bronze. 1702
Vaccaro, Lorenzo
Philip V on horseback
Bronze. 1702
Vaccaro, Lorenzo

In this sculptural group conceived in the classical manner Philip V wears a Roman-style cuirass and a curly wig of the French type. Vaccaro’s bronze is a small-scale version of his equestrian monument of the Spanish monarch erected in the square of the Gesù Nuovo in Naples in 1705. Cast by the Neapolitan silversmith Antonio Perrella, that work was destroyed by the Austrian troops in 1707.

Carlos II on Horseback
Gilt-bronze, Wood. 1698
Foggini, Giovanni Battista
Carlos II on Horseback
Gilt-bronze, Wood. 1698
Foggini, Giovanni Battista

A small equestrian statue on a gilded wooden base. The Spanish king, Carlos II (1661-1700) wears epic clothing of Roman character, holding a scepter in his right hand and the reins of his horse in the left. His heroic and powerful posture is strengthened by the rearing position of his steed. Foggini made various sketches for this work, which he modeled after the Baroque bronze artist, Pietro Tacca

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