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Landscape with a Carthusian (Saint Bruno?)
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Swanevelt, Herman Van
Landscape with a Carthusian (Saint Bruno?)
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Swanevelt, Herman Van

The painting entered the Museum holdings as an original work by Jan Both. In 1959 Blunt identifies it as the landscape listed in the 1701 inventory of the Palace of the Buen Retiro and maintains the attribution to Both, as does Roethlisberger (1961). However, Waddingham (1960) ascribes it to Herman van Swanevelt, an attribution backed by Luna (1984) and officially adopted by the Museum in 1985. Th

Saint Margaret resuscitating a Young Man
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Serodine, Giovanni
Saint Margaret resuscitating a Young Man
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Serodine, Giovanni

This painting is both beautiful in appearance and enigmatic on account of its problems of attribution, its authorship having fluctuated between several artists, all belonging to the aesthetic environment of Michelangelo Merisi, Caravaggio. Indeed, although it is now definitely ascribed to Serodine, some critics still believe it to be the work of the latter. Its history can be traced back to 1647,

The Holy Family with Angels
Oil on panel. Ca. 1524
Parmigianino. Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola
The Holy Family with Angels
Oil on panel. Ca. 1524
Parmigianino. Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola

When Parmigianino left his native city of Parma to move to Rome in 1524 he took this painting with him and presented it to Pope Clement VII. This is the artist´s first mature work and one that already reveals the grace that Vasari considered the greatest aesthetic quality of any painting: a gift of nature impossible to learn, combining beauty, delicacy and sweetness.

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

The Marquis of Caracena and his Cortège
Oil on canvas. 1664
Meulen, Adan Frans Van Der
The Marquis of Caracena and his Cortège
Oil on canvas. 1664
Meulen, Adan Frans Van Der

Traditionally thought to depict Louis XIV departing on a military campaign, this canvas in fact represents the cortège of a Spanish governor in Flanders. The principal figure in the carriage is probably Luis de Benavides y Carrillo, Marquis of Caracena (1608-1668). In other versions of his composition Van der Meulen made Louis XIV the protagonist.

Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Margaret of Austria married Philip III in 1599 after Philip II chose her from among the women of the Austria-Styria family. The marriage was planned to coincide with that of infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and archduke Albert. Margaret was born in 1584 and when she arrived in Spain in April 1599, she had already been married by power of attorney in Ferrara. She was known for her discretion and virtue

Landscape with Diana and Acteon
Oil on panel. Ca. 1608
Clerck, Hendrik de; Alsloot, Denis Van
Landscape with Diana and Acteon
Oil on panel. Ca. 1608
Clerck, Hendrik de; Alsloot, Denis Van

Hunting in the woods, Acteon stops on the banks of a stream when he sees Diana and her nymphs bathing nude on the opposite bank. Fascinated by their beauty, he observes them with a challenging and amused expression, unaware of the cost of his boldness. Indeed, the outcome will be tragic, as Diana, goddess of chastity, is furious at being seen in the nude by a mortal. She responds by transforming t

Isabel de Valois holding a Portrait of Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1561 - 1565
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Isabel de Valois holding a Portrait of Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1561 - 1565
Anguissola, Sofonisba

This portrait is a full-length likeness of Philip II’s third wife, Queen Isabel de Valois. She wears a black gown with pointed sleeves and a long train that is curled around her body and billows at the back. Poking out from beneath her hanging sleeves, held in place with ruby and diamond buttons and lined in white fabric, are silver and gold undersleeves. The one-piece gown is decorated with appli

Jupiter and the Gods urging Apollo to take back the Reins of his Chariot
Oil on panel. 1594
Cornelisz. Van Haarlem, Cornelis
Jupiter and the Gods urging Apollo to take back the Reins of his Chariot
Oil on panel. 1594
Cornelisz. Van Haarlem, Cornelis

The frieze arrangement of the figures places this work in the painter`s classical phase, which began in 1594, the same year as the date on this painting. In Van Thiel`s view, it could be the picture which the Haarlem City Council acquired from the painter in 1594, and which was presented as a gift to Coenraet Dircksz. de Rechtere in around 1601-08, in gratitude for services rendered between 1574 a

Margaret of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Margaret of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Margaret, who married Philip III in 1599, was the daughter of the Archduke of Bavaria. In this portrait by Pantoja de la Cruz -the most representative painter of the reign- she wears the so-called “Rich jewel”, a dynastic heirloom comprising the diamond known as “El estanque” (The Pool) and the famous large pearl known as “La peregrina” (The Pilgrim).

The Descent from the Cross
Oil on canvas. 1595
Carducho, Bartolomé
The Descent from the Cross
Oil on canvas. 1595
Carducho, Bartolomé

The Florentine Bartolomé Carducho arrived at the royal monastery of El Escorial in 1585, two years after El Greco had completed The Martyrdom of Saint Maurice for that building. Philip II was unhappy with the latter work and El Greco thus failed to establish connections with the Spanish court, in contrast to Carducho whose appointment to the key position of Painter to the King allowed him t

Philip III
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Philip III
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

The king is portrayed in armour, beside a tent; the image is not particularly representative of the sitter, whose tastes tended more towards regal pomp and religious piety. The composition follows earlier traditions, though with certain features characteristic of Pantoja de la Cruz: a rather geometric rendering of the figure, an impassive, somewhat distant expression, and a fascination with the de

The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul

As Homer tells it in The Iliad, Paris the shepherd, son of Priam, had to decide with of the three goddesses —Juno, Venus or Minerva— was the most beautiful, and give her the golden apple Mercury he had received from Mercury. On the left, Paris appears to be meditating, with the apple still in his hands. His attention is focused on Venus, in the middle of the composition. Minerva´s weapons are visi

Saint Thomas
Oil on canvas. 1608 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)
Saint Thomas
Oil on canvas. 1608 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)

This work is part of an apostolate from the Church of Almadrones, Guadalajara, which repeats the model of the Apostolates at Toledo Cathedral and the Museum-House of El Greco in that same city with very few variations. The Museo del Prado has four canvases from this series -The Savior, Saint James (P02890), Saint Thomas (P02891) and Saint Paul (P02892)- all of which perceptibly include the partici

Triumphal Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1609
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)
Triumphal Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1609
Domenichino (Domenico Zampieri)

Domenico Zampieri, called Domenichino, a Bolognese, painted this arch in celebration of Saint John the Baptist in Rome, and through it acknowledged his friend and protector Giovanni Battista Agucchi, a great theorist of Roman classicism. The emblems and biblical passages on the architecture allude to virtues associated with the saint. The painting comes from the collection of the painter Carlo Mar

The Emperor Charles V
Oil on canvas. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
The Emperor Charles V
Oil on canvas. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

A fire in El Pardo Palace on March 13, 1604, destroyed the portraits in the Hall of Kings. These portraits had been painted by the finest artists of the time, including Titian, Antonio Moro, Alonso Sánchez Coello, and Sofonisba Anguisciola. Encased in stucco frames attached to the walls of the gallery, which had been organized by Sánchez Coello at the behest of Philip II, these portr

Vulcan's Forge
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1577
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte)
Vulcan's Forge
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1577
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte)

It was Ballarin who discovered what is probably the Prado´s finest painting by Jacopo, and one of his most impressive late works, hanging in the Sala de Juntas of the Universidad de Barcelona, where it was deposited, having been attributed to a follower of Leandro Bassano. The painting appears to be a monumental refutation of Vasari´s description of Jacopo in the second edition of his Lives (Flore

Christ the Saviour
Oil on canvas. 1608 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)
Christ the Saviour
Oil on canvas. 1608 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)

This work is part of an apostolate from the Church of Almadrones, Guadalajara, which repeats the model of the Apostolates at Toledo Cathedral and the Museum-House of El Greco in that same city with very few variations. The Museo del Prado has four canvases from this series -The Savior, Saint James (P02890), Saint Thomas (P02891) and Saint Paul (P02892)- all of which perceptibly include the partici

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