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The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. 1625
Wtewael, Joachim
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. 1625
Wtewael, Joachim

This Adoration of the Shepherds, signed and dated 1625, was executed in the final stage in Wtewael`s career. The intellectual approach to the scene (St Luke 2:15-18), which derives its emotive force from the refined rhythm of contrasting movements and lights, underlines the painter`s faithfulness to the Mannerist aesthetic he learned during his youth in Italy and France.The compositional structure

Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

The Archduke Leopold William in his Picture Gallery in Brussels
Oil on copperplate. 1647 - 1651
Teniers The Younger, David
The Archduke Leopold William in his Picture Gallery in Brussels
Oil on copperplate. 1647 - 1651
Teniers The Younger, David

Depictions of painting galleries became popular in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century. The exhibition of paintings and other artistic or natural objects was originally a way of manifesting the high social standing of an eminently bourgeois class with a strong desire to ennoble itself. In many cases, the paintings did not rigorously reflect the client’s collection, but served inst

Christ carrying the cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca
Christ carrying the cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca

The first known reference to this painting from the Spanish Royal Collection dates from 1700, when it was mentioned as being in the Alcázar, Madrid, along with another painting by Luca Giordano, Mater Dolorosa, now lost. It is in magnificent condition, and was restored in 2007.The powerful foreground shows Christ, rope around his neck, painfully carrying the cross. The general tone evokes t

The Resurrection of Christ
Tempera on pine panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Resurrection of Christ
Tempera on pine panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan

Christ returned to life, triumphant alongside the sarcophagus that held his body for three days after his death on Golgotha, was a frequent subject in Correa´s work. The retable for the convent of the Poor Clares in Griñon (Madrid), dated around 1532-1534, shaped its essential compositional structure, with Christ at the center over a stone staircase bearing the sarcophagus and flanked by so

Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1550 - 1555
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Saint John the Baptist
Oil on canvas. 1550 - 1555
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

This work joins the two known compositions on this subject by the artist, one in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice (ca. 1530-1532) and the other in El Escorial (1565-1570). When he produced a painting Titian would generally execute a copy of it to be kept in his studio as a reference point for subsequent commission. This copy was created by tracing, but once the original image had been transfe

Flight into Egypt
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVI century
Bassano, Francesco
Flight into Egypt
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVI century
Bassano, Francesco

Unlike the adoration of the shepherds, which took place at night according to the gospel account, the nocturnal setting for the Holy Family´s flight into Egypt was an invention of the painter, since Mathew 2: 13-15 narrates how an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream and warned him that the child was in danger, but does not state that the Family departed at night or preferred to leave at sunset. In

Emperor Charles V with a Dog
Oil on canvas. 1533
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Emperor Charles V with a Dog
Oil on canvas. 1533
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

The period between 1530 and 1533 was crucial for the formulation of the image of Charles V. The image that ultimately proved most influential was invented by Jacob Seisenegger who painted five full-length portraits of Charles V between 1530 and 1532, creating a totally innovative typology for the depiction of the Emperor but one that had numerous precedents in German art (Cranach, Strigel, Amberge

Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Philip II was Titian’s most important patron, and the pair’s artistic relationship was one of the most fecund of the Renaissance. They met twice while Philip was still a prince, in Milan (December 1548-January 1549) and Augsburg (November 1550-1551), and Titian painted the prince’s portrait on both occasions. On 29 January 1549 Philip paid the painter 1000 escudos for certain portraits he paints a

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Morales, Luis de
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Morales, Luis de

Christ’s prayer on the Mount of Olives is the gospel episode that precedes his arrest and the beginning of his Passion and death on the cross. After the last supper with his disciples, Jesus withdraws with three of them, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, to the nearby garden of Gethsemane. According to St Luke’s Gospel, he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled

John Frederick the Magnanimous, Elector of Saxony
Oil on panel. 1533
Cranach The Elder, Lucas (Workshop Of)
John Frederick the Magnanimous, Elector of Saxony
Oil on panel. 1533
Cranach The Elder, Lucas (Workshop Of)

This painting was made following the Mechanised procedures used by various German workshops in the 16th century, including that of Lucas Cranach. Between 1532 and 1533 Cranach produced 120 similar portraits of Electors of Saxony, commissioned by John Frederick following his ascent to the title in 1532 and which Cranach’s numerous activities (as Burgomaster of Wittenberg, publisher and pharmacist)

Saint Anne, the Virgin, Saint Elizabeth, Saint John and the Christ Child
Oil on panel. 1525 - 1532
Yáñez de la Almedina, Fernando
Saint Anne, the Virgin, Saint Elizabeth, Saint John and the Christ Child
Oil on panel. 1525 - 1532
Yáñez de la Almedina, Fernando

The Virgin Mary reaches out to the Christ Child, who walks toward her. In the lower left corner, Saint John, adorned with a necklace of flowers, offers a flower to his cousin. A lily growing on the right symbolizes the purity of Mary. In the middle ground, Saints Ann and Elizabeth watch. Visible in the background are The Embrace at the Golden Gate, an apocryphal event in Mary´s life taken from Jac

Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul
Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul

On a number of occasions, Peter Paul Rubens partially overpainted finished pictures. He did this to paintings by his own hand, such as Nymphs and Satyrs (P1666), which he retouched and enlarged twenty years after he first painted it. He also made changes to drawings and paintings by other artists that he owned. This painting is an example of such reworking, albeit in a radical mode that changed th

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).

John Frederick I of Saxony
Oil on canvas. 1548
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
John Frederick I of Saxony
Oil on canvas. 1548
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

John Frederick I of Saxony (Torgau, 30 June 1503–Jena, 3 March 1554), Duke of Saxony-Wittenberg from 1532, was the principal defender of Luther, a fact that brought him into conflict with Charles V. In 1546 these differences resulted in an armed conflict that culminated at Mühlberg on 24 April 1547 when the Imperial army defeated the Schmalkaldic League and captured its leaders, John Frederic

Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on slate. 1532 - 1535
Piombo, Sebastiano del
Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on slate. 1532 - 1535
Piombo, Sebastiano del

Piombo was the Italian painter most in demand by Spanish clients during the first half of the sixteenth century. Fernando de Silva, Count of Cifuentes and ambassador to Rome from 1533 to 1536, commissioned him to paint Christ carrying the Cross, which is now at the Hermitage Museum and is extraordinarily similar to the present work. The Prado´s work is less dramatic, in part because here, Christ i

Tityus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1565
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Tityus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1565
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

In his Metamorphoses Ovid recounts the torments of the Giant Tityus, whose punishment for having attempted to rape the goddess Leto was to have two vultures devouring his continually regenerating liver for eternity. This work is Titian´s own late repetition of the original, painted by him for Mary of Hungary as part of a series of Furies. It was conceived as a warning for those who dared to challe

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

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