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Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1579
Carvajal, Luis de
Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1579
Carvajal, Luis de

Luis de Carvajal was a Toledan painter who trained in Rome and subsequently at El Escorial, a flourishing centre for Spanish painting in the first half of the seventeenth century. The manner in which the penitent Magdalen’s figure is bathed in light emphasises her sensual body. The visual potency of the Italian Renaissance formulas on which this work is based ensured their survival during the Baro

Saint Peter
Oil on panel. 1536 - 1538
Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip)
Saint Peter
Oil on panel. 1536 - 1538
Juanes, Juan de (Vicente Juan Masip)

This work´s existence and interest were noticed by Valencian specialist and director of that city´s Museum of Fine Arts, Fernando Benito Domenech. That museum´s Juan de Juanes exhibition in 2000 included this panel and convincingly related it to the Saint Eligius Altarpiece, which the Valencian Silversmiths´ Guild had commissioned for the church of Santa Catalina in 1534. That contract called for

Nativity
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Cajés, Eugenio
Nativity
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Cajés, Eugenio

Eugenio was the son of Tuscan painter Patricio Cajés, who came to Spain to work for Philip II at the monastery of El Escorial. His mother, Casilda de la Fuente, was Spanish. He began studying painting with his father and later moved to Rome (1595-1599), where he discovered two new trends in painting that would largely define the course of art in the 17th century: Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro an

The Holy Family, Saint Ildephonsus, Saint John the Evangelist and Master Alonso de Villegas
Oil on canvas. 1589
Prado, Blas de
The Holy Family, Saint Ildephonsus, Saint John the Evangelist and Master Alonso de Villegas
Oil on canvas. 1589
Prado, Blas de

A high surface acts as a sort of altar bearing an image of the Virgin and Child with Saint Joseph behind them. Saint John the Evangelist and Saint Ildephonsus stand at a lower level in front, flanking clergyman and writer Alonso de Villegas, who is presented in a three-quarters view. His devout posture, with hands joined at chest level and a serene, withdrawn expression as he contemplates Mary and

The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Correa de Vivar, Juan

This New Testament scene depicts the Descent from the Cross of Christ´s body (Matthew 28, 57-61; Mark 15, 42-47; Luke 23, 50-55; John 19, 38-42). Joseph of Arimathea, Nicodemus and Saint John the Evangelist remove the nails and take down the Holy Body, while Mary Magdalene laments at his feet and the Virgin is consoled by other holy women. This is considered one of Correa´s finest works. The balan

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 Descent from the Cross
Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1570
Kempeneer, Pieter
The Descent from the Cross
Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1570
Kempeneer, Pieter

Calvary and The Descent from the Cross were two of the most frequent subjects in Pedro de Campaña’s oeuvre. Their content, as well as the painter’s Flemish training, explain his manner of emphasizing the markedly dramatic character of their compositions, stressing the figures’ expressive qualities in very contrived nocturnal settings. It is no surprise that these subjects continued to occup

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

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1590
Carracci, Ludovico
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1590
Carracci, Ludovico

The Apostles sleep in the foreground, indifferent to the suffering of Christ who is attended by angels. One holds a chalice, prefiguring the Passion. The artist looked to Correggio (c. 1489-1534) in the treatment of the figures and folds of the drapery, which have details characteristic of a miniature. The canvas was in the Roman collection of the painter Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) and was acquired

Bird Seller
Oil on canvas. 1615 - 1620
Pensionante de Saraceni
Bird Seller
Oil on canvas. 1615 - 1620
Pensionante de Saraceni

A bird seller is tricked by a young man who shows him some coins with the right hand while robbing a rooster with the left. While the nationality of this artist is unknown, he seems to have learned his craft in Italy as his work shows a preference for the naturalistic approach of Caravaggio (1571-1610), and for some concepts of the Venetian school. His curious nickname comes from a certain similar

Saint Dominic of Guzmán
Oil on panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan
Saint Dominic of Guzmán
Oil on panel. Second third of the XVI century
Correa de Vivar, Juan

Religion assisted by Spain
Oil on canvas. 1572 - 1575
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Religion assisted by Spain
Oil on canvas. 1572 - 1575
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Religion succoured by Spain (c.1572-75), belongs to the last group of paintings that Titian sent to Philip II in 1576, one year before the artist’s death. As such, it is almost seven decades older than the earliest work by Titian, The Virgin and Child between Saint Anthony of Padua and Saint Roch (P288), c.1510. Contemplating the two together allows viewers to recognise and admire Titian’s excepti

The Painter Francesco Albani
Oil on canvas. 1635
Sacchi, Andrea
The Painter Francesco Albani
Oil on canvas. 1635
Sacchi, Andrea

Between 1635 and 1636 Sacchi left Bologna in order to study the work of Correggio (c. 1489-1534) and the Venetian painters. Before leaving he painted a portrait of his teacher, Albani (1578-1660), aged fifty-six, and kept this image until his death. It was acquired by his pupil Carlo Maratti (1625-1713), from whose collection it passed to that of Philip V after Maratti’s death.

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on oak panel. 1771 - 1772
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on oak panel. 1771 - 1772
Mengs, Anton Raphael

A group of shepherds surround the Virgin and Child with different expressions of adoration, defining a broad semicircle which includes Saint Joseph, who is seated, and the painter himself, who appears at the left, pointing out the miraculous event. This work is directly inspired by La Notte (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie), a painting on the same subject by Correggio (1493-1534) that was very influe

The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on panel. 1753 - 1754
Mengs, Anton Raphael
The Youthful Saint John the Baptist in the Desert
Oil on panel. 1753 - 1754
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Painted with remarkable delicacy, probably from life, in this panel Mengs captures the artless fascination with which the saint presents to the world the message of the Redeemer’s arrival, inscribed on the scroll. The figure’s soft luminosity reveals the influence of Correggio (1493-1534), which was decisive for the early years of Mengs’s Roman period.

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).

Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. Ca. 1539
San Leocadio, Felipe Pablo de
Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. Ca. 1539
San Leocadio, Felipe Pablo de

The present Adoration of the shepherds has been identified with the main part of an altarpiece made for valencian silk maker Jacobo Perpinyà. That altarpiece is topped by a representation of the Incarnation and, according to the contract signed on july 28, 1539, it was supposed to be identical to another painted by silk maker Franci Sanchiz.The Adoration of the shepherds combines paternal e

The Fable of Leda
Oil on canvas. 1604
Cajés, Eugenio
The Fable of Leda
Oil on canvas. 1604
Cajés, Eugenio

This companion to The Rape of Ganymede (P119) is Eugenio Cajés’s copy of one of Antonio Corregio’s most famous and important paintings, which was in Spain’s Royal Collections. It presents an erotic episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which Jupiter takes the form of a swan to gain access to Leda, a nymph. The original, now at the Gemâldegalerie in Berlin, is one of the most prestigious ero

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