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Saint John the Evangelist with Two Ladies and Two Girls / Saint Hadrian
Oil on panel. 1532
Coecke Van Aelst, Pieter
Saint John the Evangelist with Two Ladies and Two Girls / Saint Hadrian
Oil on panel. 1532
Coecke Van Aelst, Pieter

The Evangelist, identified by the chalice he holds in his hand, protects four female donors dressed in plain devotional habits. In the background, Coecke provides a vision of Hell that reflects the strong influence of Hieronymus Bosch. This is the right panel of the Triptych of the Last Judgement; the central panel is at the Escorial, whilst the left panel is in the Prado (P1609).

Christ presented to the People
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Massys, Quinten
Christ presented to the People
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Massys, Quinten

Massys was one of the most important painters in early sixteenth-century Antwerp. He continued the realism and attention to detail of fifteenth-century painting, as seen in the faces of the figures and the metallic reflection of one of the soldier’s helmets. This is combined with the influences of the Italian Renaissance in the use of architecture and classical decoration.The oblique perspective e

The Virgin nursing the Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1530
Reymerswale, Marinus Van
The Virgin nursing the Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1530
Reymerswale, Marinus Van

Marinus has depicted the Virgin nursing the Child in a domestic interior. Both figures are shown without halos, turning the representation into an image of the tender relationship between a mother and her child in the viewer’s own time and place. This iconography already appeared in the early fifteenth century and was used especially for images intended for private devotion. During the later Middl

The Virgin in Prayer
Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1529
Massys, Quinten
The Virgin in Prayer
Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1529
Massys, Quinten

The position of the figures, looking at each other, is common for diptych paintings. However, we do not know if these were originally painted as pendants to each other. In 1597, this panel and Virgin Mary (P1562) were described in the Escorial as two “doors” of the same object. They may have been acquired as separate paintings and then hinged together as a diptych in the Royal Collection. Some sch

The Virgin of Louvain
Oil on panel. Ca. 1520
Orley, Bernard Van
The Virgin of Louvain
Oil on panel. Ca. 1520
Orley, Bernard Van

According to the Latin inscription on the back of this panel, which attributes it to Jan Gossaert, it was acquired by the magistrate of Louvain in 1588 from that city’s Augustinian monks. It was intended as a gift of thanks to Philip II for having waived the taxes and tariffs owed by the inhabitants of Louvain for twelve years after that city was decimated by the plague in 1578. Seeking to give th

Zechariah
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1510
Provost, Jan
Zechariah
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1510
Provost, Jan

This is the right wing of the Genealogy of the Virgin altarpiece which the Count of Barajas donated to Philip II, according to the inventory of the Alcazar of Madrid of 1600. On the reverse, Saint Bernard of Siena appears in grisaille. The painter represents Zechariah, John the Baptist´s father, in an enclosed garden, employing the squat proportions which are characteristic of this word.

Triptych of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist
Oil on panel. 1549
Pourbus The Elder, Pierre (Pieter Jansz.)
Triptych of Saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist
Oil on panel. 1549
Pourbus The Elder, Pierre (Pieter Jansz.)

The Baptism of Christ, in the central panel, contains echoes of Gerard David, while the two side panels -The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos- recall the work of Hans Memling. Both artists worked in Bruges in the fifteenth century. The apocalyptic vision of the Virgin is based on an engraving by Dürer. To adapt these models to contempor

Saint James the Greater with Donors in Prayer / Saint Sebastian
Oil on panel. 1532
Coecke Van Aelst, Pieter
Saint James the Greater with Donors in Prayer / Saint Sebastian
Oil on panel. 1532
Coecke Van Aelst, Pieter

The Apostle protects a group of male donors wearing the habit of the Dominican Order. In the background, angels bear souls to Heaven. Characteristically, Coecke conveys the movement of clothes and hair -here, in the figure of the Apostle- in order to stress the dynamic nature of the action. This is the left panel of the Triptych of the Last Judgement; the central panel is at the Escorial, whilst t

The Tax Collector and his Wife (so-called Money Changer and his Wife)
Oil on panel. 1539
Reymerswale, Marinus Van
The Tax Collector and his Wife (so-called Money Changer and his Wife)
Oil on panel. 1539
Reymerswale, Marinus Van

The Prado Tax Collector and his Wife (so-called Money Changer and his Wife) dated 1539 and gifted to the museum in 1934 is the second version of this subject recorded in Spain. Thanks to the recent research by Manuel Parada, it can now be identified as the earliest documented work by Marinus. The painting was acquired by Pedro Dávila y Zúñiga (1498-1567), 1st Marquis of Las Na

Christ between the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist
Oil on paper, panel. 1510 - 1520
Gossaert, Jan (Jean Gossart, Also Called Mabuse)
Christ between the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Baptist
Oil on paper, panel. 1510 - 1520
Gossaert, Jan (Jean Gossart, Also Called Mabuse)

Christ is presented as the Savior of the World, blessing humankind, between Saint John and the Virgin, who turn towards him. The three figures are shown three-quarters under arches with a complex gothic tracery. In the center is a circular skylight with a singing angel leaning out. This is a free copy of the same figures in the polyptych of the Mystic Lamb by Jan and Hubert van Eyck from the Cathe

The Holy Family
Oil on panel. 1522
Orley, Bernard Van
The Holy Family
Oil on panel. 1522
Orley, Bernard Van

The Holy Family is shown indoors, in front of a window thought which a costal landscape is visible. The Christ Child stands on a sumptuous carpet and plays with his mother. Saint Joseph holds an apple —an allusion to the Garden of Eden-that symbolizes Mary´s condition as the new Eve. An Angel crowns the Virgin as Queen of Heaven while another offers her a basket of flowers like those resting on th

Saint Jerome in his Study
Oil on panel. 1541
Reymerswale, Marinus Van
Saint Jerome in his Study
Oil on panel. 1541
Reymerswale, Marinus Van

By far one the most popular themes in Marinus’ surviving work, Saint Jerome in his study has come down to us in several compositions. The preoccupation with this particular subject was a reaction to the early sixteenth-century concern with the depiction of the saint, who was venerated as one of the four fathers of the Western Church and held in high esteem as a scholar and the translator of the Bi

The Virgin nursing the Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1520
Orley, Bernard Van
The Virgin nursing the Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1520
Orley, Bernard Van

The Virgin, with an idealized face, stands under a semi-circular arch, holding her Child in her arms. In the background are five angels: a harpist and a singer on the left, and on the right, three more, reading a large music book. The painter from Brussels modeled this work after the so-called Madonna of the Apse by Robert Campin. The scene is framed by renaissance architecture that reveals van Or

Christ the Saviour
Oil on oak panel. 1529
Massys, Quinten
Christ the Saviour
Oil on oak panel. 1529
Massys, Quinten

Quentin Massys was one of the leading Flemish painters of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century and developed his professional career in Antwerp. The origin of this painting is unknown. It has belonged to the Royal Collection since the time of Philip II in the sixteenth century. The position of the figures, looking at each other, is common for diptych paintings. However, we do not know if

Saint Jerome in his Study
Oil on panel. 1541
Reymerswale, Marinus Van
Saint Jerome in his Study
Oil on panel. 1541
Reymerswale, Marinus Van

The painting played a major role in the rediscovery of Marinus’ work, in particular its relation to the production of Albrecht Dürer. It carries the date of 1521, the year that Dürer visited Antwerp and painted a Saint Jerome for Rui (Rodrigo) Fernandes de Almada, now in Lisbon (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, inv. 828). Although it was suspected early on that the signature and date must

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