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A Larder
Oil on canvas. Before 1636
Snyders, Frans
A Larder
Oil on canvas. Before 1636
Snyders, Frans

Snyders invented a type of scene of domestic interiors in which animals are the principal protagonists. Here a dog which has entered a larder and taken a large piece of meat is looking defiantly at another one chewing a string of sausages. The overturned basket of fruit and the broken china indicate the damage caused by their violence.

Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero
Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero

The scene, with a distinctly genre flavour, depicts a passage from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The main figure, wearing armour, kneels awaiting to be dubbed a knight; the amusing folk setting around him is far removed from the ceremonial splendour implied by such an event.

The Immaculate Conception as a Child
Oil on canvas. 1656
Zurbarán, Francisco de
The Immaculate Conception as a Child
Oil on canvas. 1656
Zurbarán, Francisco de

The Virgin Mary is presented as a little girl with her hands crossed over her chest. Wearing blue and white, she ascends on a group of angels’ heads as the heavens open to welcome her. This differs from earlier versions of the same subject by Zurbarán in its lack of symbols of the litanies and in the presence of a group of singing angels that occupy the entire bottom of the painting and are

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

The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul

This panel is one of the models designed by Rubens for a series of tapestries on the life of the Consul Publius Decius(4th century BC). It offers an extremely eloquent depiction of this Roman hero’s moral example: following a prediction in a dream, he stoically sacrificed his own life in exchange for his people’s final victory over the Latins.

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

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

Mary Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1616
Tristán, Luis
Mary Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1616
Tristán, Luis

This delicate female figure has been identified as Mary Magdalene before Christ on the cross. The work formed part of the altar piece of the parish church of Yepes (Toledo), together with Saint Monica (P-2836), whose wrinkled face contrasts with the soft, rounded features of the Magdalene, who is painted with long brushstrokes and softer transitions between light and shade.

Cleopatra
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Reni, Guido
Cleopatra
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Reni, Guido

Cleopatra VII (r. 51-30 BCE) was the sovereign of Egypt and the last representative of its final royal family, the Ptolemaic dynasty. Feeling that all was lost after her armies and those of her Roman lover and consort, Mark Antony (83-30 BCE), were successively defeated and the latter was killed, she chose to end her own life to avoid being captured by their mutual enemy, Octavian, the future Empe

The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. Late XVI - Primer tercio del siglo XVII century
Carducho, Vicente
The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. Late XVI - Primer tercio del siglo XVII century
Carducho, Vicente

This subject obeys the traditional iconography of the Annunciation, and it must have been very successful, as Carducho repeated it frequently. The composition is clear, simple and balanced: with his precise technique, the painter situates the two main characters from left to right in the foreground, with the figures of God the Father, the Holy Ghost and two angels in the middle ground. The bright

The Archdukes' Hunt
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1611
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Archdukes' Hunt
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1611
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Surrounded by courtesans and hunting servants, the governors of the Spanish Low Countries, Archduke Alberto and Archduchess Isabel, rest in the shade of a large poplar tree during one of their hunts. One of their favorite residences, Mariemont Palace, near Brussels, is visible in the background. Brueghel offers a precise, almost topographical rendering of the landscape, including certain elements

Pietá
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1611
Young Palma (Jacopo Negretti)
Pietá
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1611
Young Palma (Jacopo Negretti)

Celebration of the Ommegang in Brussels: the procession of Our Lady of the Sablon
Oil on canvas. 1616
Alsloot, Denis Van
Celebration of the Ommegang in Brussels: the procession of Our Lady of the Sablon
Oil on canvas. 1616
Alsloot, Denis Van

In the Place du Grand Sablon in Brussels various groups of magistrates, confraternities, religious orders and leading citizens march with a statue of the Virgin and the reliquary of Saint Juliana of Nicomedia. The painting is part of a series commissioned from Van Alsloot by Albert of Austria and Isabel Clara Eugenia, governors of the Spanish Netherlands, to mark various festivities that took plac

Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1637
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1637
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Like a new Atlas, Saint Christopher crosses the river carrying a child, who is in fact Christ bearing the world. Tradition had it that all those who evoked the saint would not die unconfessed on that day. The subject matter allowed Ribera to juxtapose the colossal size of the saint with the delicacy of the child, creating an image of great expressive power.

Saint Roch
Oil on canvas. 1631
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Roch
Oil on canvas. 1631
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Roch is identifiable by the pilgrim’s hat and staff, his naked, wounded thigh, and the dog that carries a piece of bread in its mouth and waits by its master. In Ribera’s time they were well-known attributes, given that Saint Roch was remarkably popular as protector against the plague.

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on unlined canvas. 1616 - 1620
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on unlined canvas. 1616 - 1620
Procaccini, Giulio Cesare

In the Garden of Gethsemane an angel comforts Christ before his crucifixion, while the three Apostles slumber nearby. Procaccini was the most renowned member of a Bolognese family of artists which had settled in Milan. His work reflects a heightened, dramatic religious sensibility with large figures located close the picture plane, as in this example in which Christ’s troubled face contrasts with

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