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Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

On what appears to be a wooden table or ledge we see boiled crabs and shrimp, several freshwater fish (two carp, a roach, possibly several ide, and a northern pike), a dark glass goblet, a brass candlestick with a partially burnt but flameless candle, a copper strainer with a brass skimmer and two artichokes, and a Rhenish stoneware jug. Reflected on its lid is a self-portrait of the artist with a

Still Life with a Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with a Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

This painting, together with Still life with Fish, Candle, Artichokes, Crabs and Shrimp, also in the Prado (P1621), is very likely identical to a picture first documented when it was in the Spanish royal collection in Madrid in 1666. The infrared image of the painting reveals some underdrawing in the shells, along the contour of the plate (near the signature), in the beaks of some of the birds and

Fable
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Fable
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

This scene of a young man blowing on burning embers was already developed by El Greco in Italy. Here, the motif is complicated by a mischievous young man and a monkey. This possible allegory of sexual desire may also be inspired by a classical work that was often used at that time, Pliny the Elder´s Natural History. The lighting effects and color contrasts show how the Bassano influenced El Greco,

A Blind Hurdy-Gurdy Player
Oil on canvas. 1620 - 1630
la Tour, Georges de
A Blind Hurdy-Gurdy Player
Oil on canvas. 1620 - 1630
la Tour, Georges de

The blind man appears in profile playing his hurdy-gurdy, a stringed instrument with which he earns his living. Despite his miserable state, La Tour depicts him with considerable dignity, dressed in a cape that hides a chestnut vest and salmon-colored trousers. His face shows the mark of time, with tanned skin, deep wrinkles and an unkempt beard. His strong hands seem out of place for a musician b

Saint Cecilia
Oil on canvas. After 1611
Grammatica, Antiveduto Della
Saint Cecilia
Oil on canvas. After 1611
Grammatica, Antiveduto Della

The Roman saint Cecilia was martyred for her faith. As the patron saint of music she is normally depicted playing an instrument, crowned with flowers and accompanied by the angel who defended her purity. The pronounced contrasts of light in this scene reveal the influence of Caravaggio that was evident in Grammatica’s work from 1605 onwards.

The Betrothal of the Virgin
Oil on paper attached to canvas. Ca. 1606
Mazzucchelli, Pier Francesco
The Betrothal of the Virgin
Oil on paper attached to canvas. Ca. 1606
Mazzucchelli, Pier Francesco

Con obra escasamente representada en España, Il Morazzone fue, en cambio, una de las figuras más destacadas del último Manierismo lombardo. Este óleo es una variación, en tamaño reducido, de una composición repetida por el artista en varias ocasiones, sobre lienzo en la colegiata de Santa María Nascente en Arona y en la iglesia de Santa María Assunta en Gallarate, y en fresco en San Vittore de Var

Brígida del Río, the Bearded Lady of Peñaranda
Oil on canvas. 1590
Sánchez Cotán, Juan
Brígida del Río, the Bearded Lady of Peñaranda
Oil on canvas. 1590
Sánchez Cotán, Juan

Brígida del Río was a well-known character in the late 16th century, as indicated by the descriptions of her in various literary and visual accounts; works that reflect a para-scientific and morbid interest in natural anomalies and deviations. Bearded women were associated in the collective imagination with lust and devilry. The painting’s meticulous, detailed technique is characteri

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

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

Christ on the Cross
Oil on canvas. 1604
Barocci, Federico
Christ on the Cross
Oil on canvas. 1604
Barocci, Federico

Along with its religious emotiveness and the perfect rendering of Christ´s anatomy, the most attractive aspect of this composition is the landscape, which reproduces the view of the via San Giovanni from Barocci´s house in Urbino. In the foreground on the right is the Convent of Santa Caterina and the Ducal Palace with the “mercatale” spreading from its base right up to the Hermitage of San Rocco

Embarkation of the Doge of Venice
Oil on canvas. After 1595
Bassano, Leandro
Embarkation of the Doge of Venice
Oil on canvas. After 1595
Bassano, Leandro

This painting, also known as the Embarkation of the Doge in the Riva degli Schiavoni, is dated after 1595, the year Leandro was ennobled, since the signature denotes his knightly status. In the 17th century, two works with similar characteristics depicting this theme arrived in Spain and are today housed at the Museo Nacional del Prado and the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (n. 546)

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 Crucified Christ
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Crucified Christ
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Stylistically, this work appears to have been made in the early 1630s -soon after the artist returned from Italy- and most authors date it from around 1632. The Apollonian perfection of the anatomy and the figure`s pale complexion recall the neo-Attic character of Guido Reni`s work, but it must have been Velázquez`s intention to imbue the figure with a divine and ineffable beauty, reflectin

The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1636
Pereda y Salgado, Antonio de
The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1636
Pereda y Salgado, Antonio de

Among the painters working in Madrid, Pereda possessed one of the most distinctive styles, which derived from his study of Flemish and Venetian painting and is evident in works that combine chromatic richness with heavy impasto and descriptive precision. This Immaculate Conception is a typical example of his style but is iconographically unusual in that the Virgin’s mantle was originally red.

Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

It has often been stated that this painting is part of a series of four, all now in the Prado, but that is probably not the case. The dimensions of all four paintings (P1619, P1620, P1621, P1622) are similar, but their provenance is not. This, and Table with Cloth, Salt Cellar, Gilt Standing Cup, Pie, Jug, Porcelain Plate with Olives and Cooked Fowl (P1622), are first documented when they were inv

Beach with Fishermen
Oil on canvas. 1627
Willaerts, Adam
Beach with Fishermen
Oil on canvas. 1627
Willaerts, Adam

This painting is illustrative of the beach scenes monopolised in Utrecht by the Willaerts family, who combined the two typical genres of Dutch painting in their work: seascapes and genre scenes. They are derived from similar compositions by Hendrick Cornelisz. Vroom (ca. 1566-1640), although the lower horizon line employed by Adam Willaerts endows the scenes with greater spatial depth which is fur

Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Cerezo, Mateo
Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Cerezo, Mateo

A profusion of cooking utensils and hearty meats -game birds fresh from the hunt and not yet dressed, a recently-killed lamb, a calf’s head, and other cuts- are laid out on a work surface, as if the painter had found them thus in a kitchen, awaiting the preparation of a meal. The apparent disorderly informality of the painting’s composition gives it an air of immediacy and lifelikeness, but is in

Table with a cloth, salt cellar, gilt tazza, pie, jug, porcelain dish with olives, and roast fowl
Oil on panel. Ca. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Table with a cloth, salt cellar, gilt tazza, pie, jug, porcelain dish with olives, and roast fowl
Oil on panel. Ca. 1611
Peeters, Clara

This painting was first recorded in 1746 in the Spanish royal collection, together with Still life with Flowers, Gilt Goblet, Almonds, Dried Fruits, Sweets, Biscuits, Wine and a Pewter Flagon (P1620). The two paintings remained in the royal collection until they entered the Prado. The suggestion made in the past that this and three other paintings in the Prado (P1619, P1620 y P1621) formed a serie

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