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Village Kitchen
Oil on panel. Ca. 1632
Ostade, Adriaen Van
Village Kitchen
Oil on panel. Ca. 1632
Ostade, Adriaen Van

This work belongs to the so-called peasant interiors, one of the new genres of painting that emerged and developed in Flanders and Holland in the early seventeenth century. In Houbraken and in early inventories they are described as een boertje (a little peasant) or as toeback rookerchen (tobacco smokers). The consolidation and appreciation of this genre was fostered by the satirical and moralisin

Exterior of Saint Peter’s, Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1636
Codazzi, Viviano
Exterior of Saint Peter’s, Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1636
Codazzi, Viviano

This painting depicts the façade of Saint Peter’s as it was designed by the architect Carlo Maderno and before the re-modelling undertaken by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, who had the clock tower on the right demolished and added the colonnade that exists today. The ceremony taking place in the foreground remains unidentified. The buildings in this canvas were painted by Codazzi, while Falcone was

The Feast of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Feast of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Documentation of payment received by Velázquez in July 1629 for an image of Bacchus painted at the king`s behest informs us of the work`s approximate date and identifies its intended recipient. This was shortly before the artist`s first visit to Italy, barely five years after he began working for the king and at a time when he had just met Rubens. During this period, he was specialized in p

The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado

Moses Striking Water from the Rock and The Bronze Serpent are related to frescos on the same subjects in the apse of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Those decorations commissioned in 1743 by the procurer general of the Cistercians and abbot of Santa Croce, Raimondo Besozzi, were paid by Pope Benedict XIV. As was his custom, Giaquinto painted various versions of the compositions

Mariana Victoria of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1724
Largillierre, Nicolas de
Mariana Victoria of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1724
Largillierre, Nicolas de

Daughter of Philip V and Isabella Farnese, the sitter was born in 1718. At the age of four her marriage to Louis XV was arranged, but this was broken off when she was seven for reasons of international politics. In 1729 María Ana married José, Prince of Brazil and future King of Portugal. Largillierre specialised in portraiture. He painted the present canvas in Paris, using a virtuos

Gladiators Fighting
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano (Workshop Of)
Gladiators Fighting
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano (Workshop Of)

This work belongs to a group from the History of Rome series for the Buen Retiro Palace. Dedicated to depictions of Roman public pastimes, the group includes athletes, gladiators, chariots, animal fights, mock sea battles and so on. Following initial doubts, the Buen Retiro Palace was conceived as a place of leisure, where it would be possible to forget the worries associated with running the mona

Hippomenes and Atalanta
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1619
Reni, Guido
Hippomenes and Atalanta
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1619
Reni, Guido

Inspired by Ovid´s Metamorphoses, this key work in Reni´s oeuvre tells the story of Atalanta, the daughter of Schoeneus, king of Arcadia. Seeking a husband, she offered to marrie anyone able to outrun her in a race. Suitors unable to do so, however, would be killed. Hippomenes was enamored of her and thus accepted the challenge with the help of Venus, who gave him three golden apples. He was suppo

Ferdinando Brandani
Oil on canvas. 1650
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Ferdinando Brandani
Oil on canvas. 1650
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This portrait dates from Velázquez`s second trip to Italy (1649-51). For many years the sitter`s identity was unknown but he has recently been identified as the banker Ferdinando Brandini (1603?-1654). Of Portuguese ancestry, Brandini was close to Juan de Córdoba, the Spanish agent who looked after Velázquez in Rome. Brandani`s friendship with Juan de Córdoba, his pro-S

The Return of the Prodigal Son
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1570
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte); Bassano, Francesco
The Return of the Prodigal Son
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1570
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte); Bassano, Francesco

This work portrays the well-known New Testament parable (Luke, 15: 11-32) illustrating the repentance of the sinner and the virtues of forgiveness. The pretext for the setting is the banquet given by the father to celebrate the return of the son, in which, according to the gospel, a fatted calf was served. The painter chose to recreate the festive nature of the event, ignoring the angry protests o

Roman Landscape at Sunset
Oil on canvas. 1781 - 1782
Vernet, Claude-Joseph
Roman Landscape at Sunset
Oil on canvas. 1781 - 1782
Vernet, Claude-Joseph

Claude Joseph Vernet, the most renowned eighteenth-century French landscape painter and veduttista (view painter), was known for his landscapes, seascapes, and views of Rome and Naples. Characterised by dramatic or poetic representations of storms and other atmospheric phenomena at different times of day, these works were enlivened by scenes from everyday life.Based in Rome between 1734 and 1752,

The Defence of Cadiz against the English
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Zurbarán, Francisco de
The Defence of Cadiz against the English
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Zurbarán, Francisco de

The event depicted is Cadiz’s defense from the attack of an English fleet of one hundred ships and ten thousand men commanded by sir Henry Cecil, Viscount of Wimbledon, which occurred on November 1, 1625. That defense was led by don Fernando Girón y Ponce de León, a veteran of the Flanders campaigns and a military advisor who had been appointed governor by the king after he offered h

Moses Striking Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado
Moses Striking Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado

Moses Striking Water from the Rock and The Bronze Serpent are related to frescos on the same subjects in the apse of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Those decorations commissioned in 1743 by the procurer general of the Cistercians and abbot of Santa Croce, Raimondo Besozzi, were paid by Pope Benedict XIV. As was his custom, Giaquinto painted various versions of the compositions

Triptych of the Life of the Virgin
Oil on panel. Ca. 1445
Bouts, Dirk
Triptych of the Life of the Virgin
Oil on panel. Ca. 1445
Bouts, Dirk

This triptych presents four scenes: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Adoration of the Angels and the Adoration of the Magi. Painted around 1445, it is considered the earliest surviving work by Dirk Bouts. Stylistically, it resembles his later paintings except for the canon of its figures, which are much shorter here than in posterior works. Besides the interest Bouts shows in landscape from t

The Goddess Flora
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca; Belvedere, Andrea
The Goddess Flora
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca; Belvedere, Andrea

The goddess Flora is seated on steps or a kind of dais, holding a cornucopia of flowers and distributing blossoms among the women gathered before her. This is a collaborative work between two Neapolitan artists, Luca Giordano -a painter very popular with the Spanish court under Charles II- and Andrea Belvedere. Belvedere is now believed to be responsible for the flowers, the minute and precise bru

The Persecution of the Harpies
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Quellinus, Erasmus
The Persecution of the Harpies
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Quellinus, Erasmus

Las Harpías, seres mitológicos mitad mujer mitad pájaro, son perseguidas por Zetes y Calais, los hijos alados de Boreas. Esta historia es narrada por Ovidio pero de manera muy breve en las Metamorfosis en el libro VII (3-4): "(...) Los jóvenes hijos del Aquilón habían ahuyentado de la boca del desdichado anciano a los pájaros con cabeza de doncella”. Sin embargo S. Alpers, autora del único estudio

Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1843
Alenza, Leonardo
Portrait of a Man
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1843
Alenza, Leonardo

Aunque la obra ha sido considerada como un autorretrato, cuando el pintor sevillano José Laguna Pérez la ofreció en 1886 al Prado no se consideraba como tal. En la propuesta de adquisición que Federico de Madrazo, director del Museo, elevó a la Dirección General de Instrucción Pública el 2 de octubre de 1886 indicaba que el cuadro, cuyo autor identificaba como Alenza, representa el retrato de un j

Ceferino Araujo
Oil on canvas. 1864
Bonnat, Léon-Joseph
Ceferino Araujo
Oil on canvas. 1864
Bonnat, Léon-Joseph

El retrato representa a un hombre de unos treinta años, de rasgos pronunciados y barba. La atención se concentra en el rostro, que no parece juntarse al cuerpo, vagamente bosquejado debajo. La posición centrada y frontal de la cara en el primer plano produce una impresión de proximidad y confianza, y la pincelada libre y desigual en el vacío del fondo concede al retrato una sensación movida, al ig

Mary Magdalene Reading
Oil on panel. First half of the XVI century
Isenbrandt, Adriaen
Mary Magdalene Reading
Oil on panel. First half of the XVI century
Isenbrandt, Adriaen

Mary Magdalene is depicted slightly more than half-length. She is slightly turned and reads a book inside a room. The jar of salve bearing the inscription “Magdele” identifies her and helps to avoid confusion with representations of the Annunciation. Isenbrand follows models created in the previous century, from Van der Weyden to Gérard David. The slight sfumato in Mary´s face and her graci

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