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Marriage Contract and Country Dance
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1711
Watteau, Jean-Antoine
Marriage Contract and Country Dance
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1711
Watteau, Jean-Antoine

Known as a painter of “fêtes galantes”, Watteau combines a depiction of a marriage ceremony with a cheerful country dance. His composition recalls numerous scenes in Flemish painting, as does the natural setting.

Ferdinand VI and Barbara of Braganza in the Gardens of Aranjuez
Oil on canvas. 1756
Battaglioli, Francesco
Ferdinand VI and Barbara of Braganza in the Gardens of Aranjuez
Oil on canvas. 1756
Battaglioli, Francesco

This view of Aranjuez Palace was painted in 1756, on the occasion of the celebration of the saint´s day of King Fernando VI (1713-1759). This work was one of a group of views of the Palace and of the celebrations that took place there. Originally, there were probably four, but only this one and View of Aranjuez Palace (P04180, also in the Prado Museum) remain. The moment depicted here is the passa

View of The Palace of Aranjuez
Oil on canvas. 1756
Battaglioli, Francesco
View of The Palace of Aranjuez
Oil on canvas. 1756
Battaglioli, Francesco

This view of Aranjuez Palace was painted in 1756, on the occasion of the celebration of the saint´s day of King Fernando VI (1713-1759). This work was one of a group of views of the Palace and of the celebrations that took place there. Originally, there were probably four, but only this one and Fernando VI and Bárbara de Braganza in the Gardens of Aranjuez (P04181, also in the Prado Museum)

Philip V, King of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1723
Ranc, Jean
Philip V, King of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1723
Ranc, Jean

This is an official portrait of Felipe V (1683-1746), the first Bourbon king of Spain. The grandson of Louis XIV (1638-1715) of France, he was born in Versailles and was proclaimed King of Spain in 1700. Married two times, he had numerous children and died in Madrid in 1746. The king wears armor and carries a ruler´s staff. A warrior´s helmet rests on a stone in front of him. Along with the sumptu

The Young Charles III with a Helmet and Sword
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1725
Ranc, Jean
The Young Charles III with a Helmet and Sword
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1725
Ranc, Jean

The young sitter, here slightly older than in the portrait of him in his study also painted by Ranc (Museo del Prado), is shown with the symbols of military power: a helmet, a sword resting on a large column base, and a red mantle. The Golden Fleece and the French Order of the Saint-Esprit, represented by the dove of the Holy Spirit, announce his historic destiny.

Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. 1745 - 1749
Pierre, Jean-Baptiste-Marie
Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. 1745 - 1749
Pierre, Jean-Baptiste-Marie

In Book II of his Metamorphosis, Ovid tells how Jupiter tricked Callisto. This very beautiful nymph who was part of Diana the Huntress´ entourage was seduced by Jupiter, who took on the appearance of that goddess. When she became pregnant, Callisto attempted to hide her state from Diana, who was a virgin and demanded the same of all her entourage. Jupiter converted his lover into a bear in order t

View of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1722
Houasse, Michel-Ange
View of the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1722
Houasse, Michel-Ange

This painting is part of a series of pictures of the Royal Sites which includes five panoramas of El Escorial from different viewpoints. They are all unmistakably descriptive in nature as the emphasis is on the overall views, each of which includes a couple of accessory details in order to humanise the theme, such as monks, passers-by, an oxcart or a pilgrim, among others. This panoramic view of e

Diana in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. 1739
Loo, Louis-Michel Van
Diana in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. 1739
Loo, Louis-Michel Van

Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, sleeps outdoors, leaning on a boulder and wrapped in a leopard skin. She wears her symbol, the crescent moon, on her head and her clothes are of classical inspiration. She is accompanied by her bow and arrows and a hunting horn. Van Loo painted numerous mythological scenes, generally characterized by a certain degree of eroticism. This was in keeping with the

Pan and Syrinx
Oil on canvas. 1760 - 1765
Boucher, François
Pan and Syrinx
Oil on canvas. 1760 - 1765
Boucher, François

The scene depicts a group of naked young women being surprised by a male who violently thrusts aside the reeds behind which they are concealed, while some cupids retreat in fear. The work illustrates a classical theme taken from Ovid´s Metamorphoses that appears to narrate the culminating moment in the mythical story of the god Pan and Syrinx, a wood nymph of Arcadia, which takes place by th

Offering to Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1720
Houasse, Michel-Ange
Offering to Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1720
Houasse, Michel-Ange

This pagan scene shows the offer that the Bacchants, or followers of Bacchus, made to their god. In the center, a priest offers the sacrifice on an altar in front of the statue of the deity crowned with grape leaves. All around, those attending the feast drink, or appear totally inebriated, sleeping off the effects of the wine. This mythological scene shows how Houasse was influenced by the tradit

Fête in a Park
Oil on canvas. 1712 - 1713
Watteau, Jean-Antoine
Fête in a Park
Oil on canvas. 1712 - 1713
Watteau, Jean-Antoine

With his characteristic lyricism, Watteau captures the charm of a relaxed moment in which a group of people are gallantly presented in a garden. The predominant feeling is one of evanescence, resulting in a peculiar lack of definition: an atmosphere that blurs the contours and very nearly blends the sculptures in the fountain and pedestal into natural surroundings lit from an undetermined source.

Isabella Farnese, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1723
Ranc, Jean
Isabella Farnese, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1723
Ranc, Jean

This is an official portrait of Queen Isabella Farnese (1692-1766), daughter of Eduardo II, Duke of Parma and second wife of Felipe V of Spain (1683-1746), whom she married in 1714. Shown three quarters and sumptuously dressed, the Queen turns her body to the left and her head to the right in an elegant pose characteristic of French portraits of that period. The technique of this painting, with a

Bacchanal
Oil on canvas. 1719
Houasse, Michel-Ange
Bacchanal
Oil on canvas. 1719
Houasse, Michel-Ange

Various personages, semi-nude or wearing tunics, dance, drink, eat grapes, play instruments and enjoy themselves in a garden around a bust of Bacchus. Various popular and classical buildings are visible in the background. This work shows all of the influences present in Houasse´s painting. The academicist tendency of the figures is mixed with hints of Poussin, Titian and Watteau. Moreover, some fa

Ferdinand of Bourbon and Savoy, Prince of Asturias (later Ferdinand VI of Spain)
Oil on canvas. 1725
Ranc, Jean
Ferdinand of Bourbon and Savoy, Prince of Asturias (later Ferdinand VI of Spain)
Oil on canvas. 1725
Ranc, Jean

One of the artist’s few signed works, Ranc’s depiction of the Prince of Asturias, later Ferdinand VI of Spain, subtly balances the sitter’s youthful grace and the symbolic significance of his role. The description of the fabric of Ferdinand’s clothes is particularly meticulous, creating a striking symphony of colours and textures.

Jupiter and Antiope
Oil on canvas. 1745 - 1749
Pierre, Jean-Baptiste-Marie
Jupiter and Antiope
Oil on canvas. 1745 - 1749
Pierre, Jean-Baptiste-Marie

This scene from Book VI of Ovid´s Metamorphosis, shows the god Jupiter´s seduction of the nymph, Antiope. This very beautiful nymph was seduced by the Lord of Olympus, who took the form of a satyr for the occasion. Pierre depicts the moment of the initial trickery, when Antiope abandons herself in Jupiter´s embrace. The plasticity of the figures and the pastel color scheme are outstanding, and rai

Ferdinand VI as a Boy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1723
Ranc, Jean
Ferdinand VI as a Boy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1723
Ranc, Jean

Son of Philip V and María Luisa Gabriela de Saboya, Ferdinand VI (reigned 1746-59) became Prince of Asturias in 1724 and married María Bárbara de Braganza, Infanta of Portugal. Here he is depicted in shoes with heels, wearing court dress comprising a cuirass, a salmon pink frock coat and a long waistcoat in yellow-gold, both richly embroidered. He has a white lace neck tie and

Hercules and Omphale
Marble. 1728 - 1761
Dumandré, Antonio (Attributed To)
Hercules and Omphale
Marble. 1728 - 1761
Dumandré, Antonio (Attributed To)

Antoine Dumandré and his brother Hubert worked for Philip V at the palace of La Granja and this relief can be associated with their work and hence with the monarch’s artistic circle. Considered the mythical ancestor of the Spanish monarchy, Hercules was sold as a slave to Queen Omphale in punishment for a crime. He became her lover at court, a situation they concealed by cross-dressing and

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