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Empress Maria of Austria, Wife of Maximilian II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Mor, Anthonis
Empress Maria of Austria, Wife of Maximilian II
Oil on canvas. 1551
Mor, Anthonis

Maria of Austria, the daughter of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, was born in 1528. In 1548 she married her cousin, the Archduke Maximilian. She reigned as empress from 1564 to 1576, and in 1580 returned to Spain, entering the convent of Las Descalzas Reales (Madrid), where she remained until her death in 1603. This is a companion piece to a lifesize, full-length portrait of her husband (P-211

May (Gemini)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco
May (Gemini)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco

Although there is no extant set of the twelve months of the year painted by Jacopo, it is possible that he invented this series. Certainly, the inventory taken in Bassano del Grappa following his death in 1592 mentions sketches of the twelve months from January to December (two different versions of some, such as May and June), and a further seven of unspecified months. In 1648, Ridolfi referred t

Ships in a Storm
Oil on panel. Second third of the XVII century
Wou, Claes Claesz
Ships in a Storm
Oil on panel. Second third of the XVII century
Wou, Claes Claesz

This painting was listed in the Museum`s inventories and catalogues as an anonymous work by the Dutch school, although in the 1889 catalogue it was noted that Bredius had suggested it should be attributed to Aert Anthonisz (1580-1620).On stylistic grounds the scene could be considered comparable with the output of Claes Claesz. Wou during the last stage in his career, by which time the rigid Manne

The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1631 - 1635
Turchi, Alessandro
The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1631 - 1635
Turchi, Alessandro

Esta pintura pertenece a una serie, formada inicialmente por nueve Fiestas de Nuestra Señora, que el Cardenal Gaspar de Borja y Velasco (1580-1645), embajador ante la Santa Sede, envió desde Roma en 1635 o antes para la decoración del nuevo oratorio de la reina en el Alcázar. Cinco de las nueve se conservan en el Prado y, al menos tres, se quemaron en el incendio del Alcázar en 1734. Atribuidas pr

Lady covering her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico
Lady covering her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico

The two canvases P382 y P384 are by the same artist and were probably intended as a pair. Their meaning can be gleaned from L’arte de Cenni (1616), the most important treatise on gestures of its day, written by the jurist Giovanni Bonifacio. According to Bonifacio, revealing a bare breast signifies sincerity, “as the breast is the location of the heart and when referring to speaking truly and sinc

July (Leo)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco
July (Leo)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco

Although there is no extant set of the twelve months of the year painted by Jacopo, it is possible that he invented this series. Certainly, the inventory taken in Bassano del Grappa following his death in 1592 mentions sketches of the twelve months from January to December (two different versions of some, such as May and June), and a further seven of unspecified months. In 1648, Ridolfi referred t

Isabel de Borbón, Wife of Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Villandrando, Rodrigo de
Isabel de Borbón, Wife of Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Villandrando, Rodrigo de

The daughter of Henri IV of France and Marie de Médicis, Isabel de Borbón (1603-1644) was the first wife of Philip IV and the mother of Prince Baltasar Carlos and María Teresa of Austria. In Villandrando’s portrait, painted a year before Isabel became Queen of Spain, she wears a stiff, sumptuous dress that emphasises her presence and royal status. Although Spanish in cut, the

The homeless Cain and his Family
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1585
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
The homeless Cain and his Family
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1585
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)

Depicting a passage from Genesis rarely illustrated in art, this canvas shows how God punished Cain for killing his brother Abel by condemning him and his family to wander through a hostile wilderness (Genesis 4, 11-16). Veronese situates the action in a desolate setting with only a tree. Wearing a lion skin and holding a club, Cain watches as his wife breast-feeds their son, sheltered by a boulde

The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. 1631 - 1635
Turchi, Alessandro
The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. 1631 - 1635
Turchi, Alessandro

This panting belongs to a series consisting, initially, of nine Feasts of our Lady that Spain’s ambassador to the Vatican, Cardinal Gaspar de Borja y Velasco (1580-1645), sent from Rome, in 1635 or earlier, for the decoration of the Queen’s new prayer chapel at the Alcázar. Five of those nine works are now at the Prado, while at least three were lost in the fire that damaged that palace in

Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1583
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1583
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)

Paolo Veronese`s Penitent Magdalene, 1583, reflects the change occurring in Venetian religious painting around 1580. On one hand, the new order of priorities imposed by the Council of Trent (1545-63) emphasised subjects such as the Eucharist, penitence and the martyrdom of the saints. On the other, the Inquisition began to zealously protect decorum in the treatment of sacred subjects. Veronese had

Queen Anne of Austria, fourth Wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1616
González, Bartolomé
Queen Anne of Austria, fourth Wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1616
González, Bartolomé

A court portrait of Queen Anne (1549-1580), the daughter of Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) and Maria of Austria (1528-1603), married her uncle Philip II in 1570; their son later became Philip III (1578-1621). This portrait is thought to be a copy of one by Anthonis Mor, painted in 1570 when the future queen was travelling to Spain to be married. She is wearing a white partlet over an ornate dou

September (Libra)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco
September (Libra)
Oil on canvas. S XVI - XVII century
Bassano, Francesco

Although there is no extant set of the twelve months of the year painted by Jacopo, it is possible that he invented this series. Certainly, the inventory taken in Bassano del Grappa following his death in 1592 mentions sketches of the twelve months from January to December (two different versions of some, such as May and June), and a further seven of unspecified months. In 1648, Ridolfi referred t

Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

Philip II’s two daughters Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566-1633) and Catalina Micaela (1567-1597), were repeatedly portrayed from the time they were very small by Alonso Sánchez Coello, one of the king’s court painters. Those likenesses had the characteristics of court portraits, reflecting not only the sitters’ features and their royal context, but also the type of society and state being depict

Allegory of the Birth of the Infante Don Fernando
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Parrasio, Michele
Allegory of the Birth of the Infante Don Fernando
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Parrasio, Michele

This canvas, which the Venetian artist Parrasio sent to Philip II without a prior commission in order to gain the monarch’s favour, celebrates the birth of the heir to the Spanish throne in a mythological-allegorical mode. The Infante Fernando, son of Felipe II, appears as a boy, surrounded by seven ladies —embodiments of the theological and cardinal Virtues. His mother, Ana de Austria, lies on a

Saint Jerome meditating
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1585
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari) (And Workshop)
Saint Jerome meditating
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1585
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari) (And Workshop)

This is a late work by Veronese, characterised by its marked formal and chromatic austerity. It also reveals the profound spiritual and emotional intensity of the artist’s late religious compositions. They are devoid of any anecdotal detail that might distract the viewer, who is encouraged to imitate the hermit saint in his meditation on the death of Christ.

Don Sebastian, King of Portugal
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Don Sebastian, King of Portugal
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

This three-quarters portrait is especially direct, thanks to the absence of any background elements other than the model´s powerful shadow. It presents don Sebastian (1554-1580) in the final years of his brief life, dressed in the Spanish style, with a black jerkin and matching cape that bring out the sumptuousness of his breeches and doublet, embroidered in gold on a white background. To convey h

Lady revealing her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico
Lady revealing her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico

This depiction of an honest courtesan, presents an iconography of increasing interest to art historians in recent decades. With her curly blond hair, bare forehead and pearl necklace, as well as the breast she so generously offers the viewer, the model recalls a young woman whose mother sought to introduce her into the business of high-level prostitution, as described by Veronica Franco (1546-1591

Saint Stephen
Oil on panel. Ca. 1575
Morales, Luis de (Workshop Of)
Saint Stephen
Oil on panel. Ca. 1575
Morales, Luis de (Workshop Of)

The most frequent image of Saint Stephen shows his stoning after his condemnation for blasphemy by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. The account given in the Acts of the Apostles reads: And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. (Acts, 7, 59-60). The death of the young dea

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