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Louis XIV, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Mignard, Pierre (Circle Of)
Louis XIV, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Mignard, Pierre (Circle Of)

This canvas is one of a group of portraits collected by María Luisa de Orleans (1662-1689), first wife of Carlos II of Spain, which would become part of the Royal Collection. Some of these paintings must have decorated the Queen´s Gallery in the Alcázar (Madrid), a representation space where the Queen launched a decorative and iconographic program of exaltation of her dynasty. Others

Still Life with Pomegranates and Grapes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1643
Zurbarán, Juan de
Still Life with Pomegranates and Grapes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1643
Zurbarán, Juan de

Juan de Zurbarán, the son of Francisco, was one of the most original and gifted Spanish still-life painters of the seventeenth century. This work is based on a similar still life by the artist, dated 1643. It reveals Zurbarán’s ability to recreate textures, his masterly use of effects of chiaroscuro and his interest in complex compositions.

Aesop
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Aesop
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Aesop and Menippus are first listed in the inventory of the Torre de la Parada between 1701 and 1703. Among other works, this hunting lodge had a vast cycle of mythological paintings made by Rubens and his assistants, as well as some of Velázquez’s portraits of buffoons and member of the royal family dressed as hunters. The inventory also lists Rubens’s Democritus and Heraclitus, which is p

The Supper at Emmaus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Supper at Emmaus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

Two pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem meet a traveler, whom the invite to dinner. When their unknown guest blesses the bread on the table, they recognize that he is Christ resurrected. This story is taken from the Gospel of Luke (24, 13-55). The painter sets the scene in a space that is open to an architectural landscape, with a fortress and a Baroque building out of which a figure is leaning. Th

Louis I, Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. 1717
Houasse, Michel-Ange
Louis I, Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. 1717
Houasse, Michel-Ange

Michel-Ange Houasse, son of the painter René-Antoine Houasse (c.1645-1710), had enjoyed a long career during the reign of Louis XIV of France (r.1643-1715). From 1715 until his death, Michel-Ange worked in the court in Madrid during the reign of the first Bourbon monarch, Philip V (r.1700-24 and 1724-46), creating interesting landscape paintings, genre scenes, religious paintings and portra

The Kitchen
Oil on panel. 1643
Teniers The Younger, David
The Kitchen
Oil on panel. 1643
Teniers The Younger, David

This is a singular example of David Teniers´ indoor scenes. The kitchen or tavern utensils so common in his other works are completed here with a magnificent show of diverse fruit and vegetables. This converts the right part of the composition into a still life. On the left, a character shells mussels, a traditional foodstuff in the Low Countries, while another group works beside the fireplace. Th

Landscape with Saint Onuphrius
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)
Landscape with Saint Onuphrius
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)

Saint Onuphrius, a hermit saint of the fourth century AD, retired to the Egyptian desert in search of solitude. As with other works for the decoration of the Buen Retiro Palace in Madrid, this landscape was created by two artists: Claude himself, who painted the landscape, and a second, unknown artist who painted the hermit.

Vase of Flowers decorated with a Triumphal Chariot seen in Profile
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Vase of Flowers decorated with a Triumphal Chariot seen in Profile
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

This canvas with clearly defined characteristics is paired with another work at the Museo del Prado (P7912) whose shared circumstances help us to appreciate Hiepes’s achievements even more -especially his capacity to reflect the infinite aesthetic possibilities offered by the subject matter associated with still lifes. That second work was signed and dated in 1643, which allows us to assign a simi

Menippus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Menippus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Aesop and Menippus are first listed in the inventory of the Torre de la Parada between 1701 and 1703. Among other works, this hunting lodge had a vast cycle of mythological paintings made by Rubens and his assistants, as well as some of Velázquez’s portraits of buffoons and member of the royal family dressed as hunters. The inventory also lists Rubens’s Democritus and Heraclitus, which is p

The raising of Lazarus
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Novelli, Pietro
The raising of Lazarus
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Novelli, Pietro

This painting has recently been identified as a work by Pietro Novelli, known as Il Monrealese on account of his having been born in Monreale, Sicily. It was considered until 1933 to be the work of Neapolitan painter Andrea Vaccaro, and after that time its authorship was demoted to Anonymous Neapolitan by the Museo del Prado. The painting passed largely unnoticed on account of its being on long-te

Bacchic Scene
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Poussin, Nicolas
Bacchic Scene
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Poussin, Nicolas

In a lush, wooded landscape on the banks of a quiet river, a nude woman, sitting on a richly colored red cloak, gestures to two male figures posed beside her. Supporting a glazed jug in her lap, she points to the standing nude boy, who pours wine from a golden ewer into the mouth of a kneeling satyr. Wearing a grapevine belt and a crown, the satyr, a half-man, half-goat creature associated with un

The Circus Maximus in Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Gargiulo, Domenico, Called Micco Spadaro; Codazzi, Viviano
The Circus Maximus in Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Gargiulo, Domenico, Called Micco Spadaro; Codazzi, Viviano

This is one of four depictions of spectacles from ancient Rome that Domenico Gargiulo and Viviano Codazzi painted for the large History of Rome series at the Buen Retiro Palace. Of those four, in which Gargiulo painted the figures and Codazzi the architecture, two more have survived: Perspective of a Roman Amphitheater (P2632) and Perspective of a Gymnasium (P6210). The fourth, now lost, is listed

Landscape with the Temptations of Saint Anthony
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)
Landscape with the Temptations of Saint Anthony
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)

The saint is depicted among ruins, imploring God to protect him from some small devils who disturb his spiritual retreat. The most striking element in the composition is its sophisticated lighting, which is both compositionally and symbolically complex. As a nocturnal scene, this work is unique within Claude’s oeuvre. It was painted for the gallery of landscapes in the Buen Retiro Palace.

Still Life with Birds and Hares
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Still Life with Birds and Hares
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

Hiepes emphasised the symmetry of his composition by locating the plucked chicken in the centre and alternating the striking plumage of the small birds with the dark areas of the hare and duck on either side. On the table, the dishes containing offal and cured meats and the stripes of the cloth that recede towards the vanishing point create a sense of geometrical order.

The Hare Hunt
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Wouwerman, Philips
The Hare Hunt
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Wouwerman, Philips

This painting is listed in the royal inventories as the companion piece to Hunting Party and Fishermen (P2147). It is a panoramic view in which hunters, animals and picturesque buildings are set in a sweeping landscape. However, here the wooded, mountainous scenery evidences the influence of Italianate landscape painting. The figure groupings are designed to steer the viewer`s gaze not to the back

Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

Flower painting quickly became a sub-genre of still life painting in which several Spanish artists became specialists. Hiepes was an assiduous proponent throughout his career and he specialized in flower vases like the present one and its pair (P7913), which look like the work of no other Spanish painter. They are quite large works characterized by their monumentality and symmetry. Instead of seek

Dwarf with a Dog
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Follower Of)
Dwarf with a Dog
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Follower Of)

The custom of placing the principal figure in a portrait alongside another being that was physically or socially inferior was common practice among artists who portrayed figures from the Spanish court in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Kings, queens, princes and princesses all appeared accompanied by dwarfs, children or animals in a revealing play of hierarchies. This convention exalted t

Dead Cockerel
Oil on panel. 1659 - 1660
Metsu, Gabriël
Dead Cockerel
Oil on panel. 1659 - 1660
Metsu, Gabriël

Recent restoration has enabled a much better appreciation of this picture, since the thick layer of oxidised glaze that previously covered the surface made it impossible to judge the space and depth of the composition. As a result, the cockerel´s body is no longer outlined against the dark, plain background, but seen hanging from a string above a table inside some kind of architectural space -an a

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