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The Port of Amsterdam in Winter
Oil on canvas. 1656 - 1660
Dubbels, Hendrick Jacobsz
The Port of Amsterdam in Winter
Oil on canvas. 1656 - 1660
Dubbels, Hendrick Jacobsz

This is one of the few winter scenes painted by Hendrick Dubbels still preserved today. In the Museum`s catalogues it is described as a scene with skaters, although only three of the many characters depicted here are actually skating, and one is putting on skates. The 1873 and 1878 editions state that, despite the signature, some consider this to be by Bonaventura Peeters; the 1885 publication men

Apples, Figs and Plums
Oil on canvas. Second third of the XVII century
Espinosa, Juan de
Apples, Figs and Plums
Oil on canvas. Second third of the XVII century
Espinosa, Juan de

This work and its pendant (P7926) share innumerable characteristics, notwithstanding their clear differences. They reflect a painting style popular at the Spanish court during the first half of the 17th century: small still lifes for specific clients that enjoyed decorating the rooms in their mansions with images from nature presented in a straightforward, untheatrical mannee.These works generally

The Triumph of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. After 1635
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico
The Triumph of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. After 1635
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico

Paolo Domenico Finoglia was deeply involved in the creation of paintings for the History of Rome cycle at the Buen Retiro Palace. His participation includes this superb Triumph of Bacchus, a Gladiators’ Fight (Patrimonio Nacional, Inv. 10022324) and a painting with a very obscure subject traditionally known as Masinissa Mourning Over the Death of Sophonisba (P2280). This final work was even attrib

Hercules defeats King Geryon
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de
Hercules defeats King Geryon
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de

This painting depicts the moment after Hercules has killed King Geryon, identified by the crown on his head. The monarch had come to defend his herd of oxen and cows after the god Eurystheus had ordered Hercules to steal them.This work is part of a series of ten paintings that Francisco de Zurbarán was commissioned to paint in 1634 as decoration for the Hall of Realms in the Buen Retiro Pal

Landscape with Carmelites
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1639
Both, Jan
Landscape with Carmelites
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1639
Both, Jan

This painting entered the Museum as an original work by Jan Both, attribution that has been maintained in the catalogues until the present day. In 1973 Valdivieso identifies it as the picture listed in the 1701 inventory of the Palace of the Buen Retiro and retains the ascription to Jan Both, which is supported by Luna (1984) and Capitelli (2005). Burke (1976) refers to it without an attribution.B

Masinissa Mourning Over the Death of Sophonisba (?)
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico
Masinissa Mourning Over the Death of Sophonisba (?)
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Finoglia, Paolo Domenico

Within the large series of paintings dedicated to the history of Rome, this work and Meleager’s Hunt (P2320) belong to a small group of scenes from mythology and the history of Antiquity. This is undoubtedly the most mysterious group in the series -so much so, that the subject matter of some of its paintings has yet to be identified today. Moreover, neither the significance of this group as a whol

The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

On June 5, 1625 the Dutch governor of Breda, Justinus van Nassau, surrendered the keys of that city to Ambrosio Spínola, the Genoese general commanding the Spanish tercios (a group of soldiers that included pikemen, swordsmen and musketeers) of Flanders. Breda`s extraordinary strategic importance made it one of the most disputed cities in the Spanish monarchy`s prolonged war against the Uni

Danaë and the Shower of Gold
Oil on canvas. 1560 - 1565
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
Danaë and the Shower of Gold
Oil on canvas. 1560 - 1565
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

The first Poesie presented to Prince Philip were Danaë (1553, The Wellington Collection) and Venus and Adonis (1554, Museo del Prado, P422), versions of other previous works, but endowed with all the prestige of the commissioning party. In turn, these works became models for numerous replicas (Danaë receiving the Golden Rain, 1560-65, Museo del Prado, P425).Danaë depicts the moment

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 Embarkation of Saint Paula
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1639
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)
The Embarkation of Saint Paula
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1639
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)

A noble Roman widow and mother of five children, Saint Paula decided to retreat to the desert and abandon her worldly ways in favour of a life of prayer and penitence. In 285 AD she abandoned Rome with her son, Eustace, and moved to Antioch, where she joined Saint Jerome to share a hermit’s life. Claude Lorrain’s painting depicts her departure, offering an imaginary recreation of the port of Ostia

Saint Teresa of Avila in Glory
Oil on canvas. 1760 - 1770
Bayeu, Francisco
Saint Teresa of Avila in Glory
Oil on canvas. 1760 - 1770
Bayeu, Francisco

This is a preparatory sketch for a mural of Saint Teresa on clouds, accompanied by other Carmelite nuns. The saint is received by the Virgin, who points to the Holy Trinity. The composition reflects the influence of the Baroque style of Luca Giordano (1634-1705), modified by the aesthetic of Corrado Giaquinto (1703-1766).

The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix
The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix

The island of Saint Christopher (modern-day Saint Kitts) in the Lesser Antilles was invaded by the English and French and recaptured by Spanish forces in 1629. The Spanish expedition was led by Fadrique de Toledo y Osorio, I Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza and Captain General of the Ocean Fleet. He was accompanied by Fleet General Martín de Vallecilla and Admiral Antonio de Oquendo. After

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria, in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria, in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Born in El Escorial in 1609, don Fernando was the son of Philip III and Margarita de Austria, and thus Philip IV´s brother. As a result, he held very high posts. In 1619, he was appointed cardinal and between 1634 and his death in 1641, he was governor of Flanders, where he succeeded his aunt, the Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia. Generally dated around 1632-1634, in the years immediately followin

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background. Rubens painted this wo

The Death of Hercules
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de
The Death of Hercules
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de

This episode, which illustrates Hercules’s death, was narrated in great detail by Baltasar de Victoria, who tells how the hero killed Nessus the centaur for having attempted to rape Hercules’s bride, Deianira. After the wedding, when it came time to cross the Evinos River that runs through Aetolia, it could not be forded as the water was quite deep. Nessus the Centaur happed to be there and offere

Roman Athletes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello
Roman Athletes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello

This work belongs to a group from the History of Rome series for the Buen Retiro Palace. Dedicated to depictions of Roman public pastimes, the group includes athletes, gladiators, chariots, animal fights, mock sea battles and so on. Following initial doubts, the Buen Retiro Palace was conceived as a place of leisure, where it would be possible to forget the worries associated with running the mona

Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Mariana of Austria (1634-1696) was the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand III and María of Hungary. It was intended that she marry her cousin, Prince Baltasar Carlos, but following his death she married Philip IV in 1649. Velázquez executed this portrait after his return from Italy. The elaborate clothing, chair and curtain emphasise the sitter`s rank while the table clock alludes to

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

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