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Still Life with Fruit
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Cerquozzi, Michelangelo
Still Life with Fruit
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Cerquozzi, Michelangelo

The depiction of fruit was one of the specialities of this versatile Roman artist, who also painted battle scenes -his most appreciated works in his own lifetime- genre scenes and leafy orchard gardens with life-size youths. Together with works by the enigmatic Master S.B. and by Mario Nuzzi, this canvas was commissioned to decorate the no longer extant Buen Retiro palace in Madrid.

Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1516
Piombo, Sebastiano del
Jesus carrying the Cross
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1516
Piombo, Sebastiano del

Jerónimo Vich y Valterra (1459-1535) was Spain’s ambassador to Rome between 1506 and 1521, under the reigns of Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V. Vich commissioned Sebastiano del Piombo to paint a triptych whose central panel with the Lamentation over the Body of Christ is now at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. One of its sides bears Christ’s Descent into Limbo and is also at t

Still Life with a Dog and a Cat
Oil on panel. Ca. 1650
Luyckx, Carstian
Still Life with a Dog and a Cat
Oil on panel. Ca. 1650
Luyckx, Carstian

Luycks depicts a table with a basket of grapes, quince and other fruit as well as a hare and various dead birds. At the lower right a dog barking at a cat adds a note of life to the scene. Christiaan Luycks was a follower of Jan Fyt.

Moses striking the Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Assereto, Gioacchino
Moses striking the Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Assereto, Gioacchino

Moisés sacia la sed del pueblo de Israel durante su travesía del desierto (Exodo, 17, 3-7). Assereto es uno de los pintores más importantes de la escuela genovesa. En su estilo influyeron Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Bernardo Strozzi y Cerano. Adquirido en Sevilla por Isabel de Farnesio, ha sido atribuido a pintores sevillanos, como Roelas, Llanos Valdés o Legote. En 1781 el Conde del Águila decía qu

Buffoon with Books
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Buffoon with Books
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

One of the most distinguished components of Velázquez` oeuvre is his gallery of buffoons (or, as we would generally call them in English, jesters), dwarves, and other men of amusement who entertained the king of Spain and his court in idle moments. Although Velázquez was not the only artist who portrayed these entertainers, none other, either before or after, approached the subject s

Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1649
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1649
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

María Magdalena es una de las santas más célebres del cristianismo, por haber conocido a Cristo y porque representó el paradigma de la mujer arrepentida. En su etapa de vida mundana suele caracterizarse con ricas vestiduras. Cuando se muestra como mujer arrepentida -como en esta pintura de Guercino- aparece semidesnuda y con largos cabellos, adorando el crucifijo. Otros dos de sus atributos más re

The Concert
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello
The Concert
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello

Falcone painted the figures in this painting; the Neapolitan specialist Luca Forte probably painted the vase of flowers on the left. It looks like a portrait gallery of real people, one of whom -the bearded man on the right- appears in other paintings by Falcone. The painting comes from the collection of the Duke of Medina de las Torres, viceroy of Naples between 1637 and 1644.

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 Finding of Moses
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)
The Finding of Moses
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)

A broad landscape is the setting for Moses’s rescue from the Nile River by the Egyptian Pharaoh’s daughter and her retinue. In the foreground, a shepherd sleeps, indifferent to the events taking place behind him. The lush landscape, flowing river with a bridge, and the city in the background to the right are artistic license, and the original vegetation is evoked by only one element: the palm tree

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

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

King David
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Ríes, Ignacio de
King David
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Ríes, Ignacio de

De Ríes was Zurbarán’s assistant in the late 1630s and continued to follow his master’s style as an independent painter. One of his finest works from the latter period is this King David. From Zurbarán, Ríes derived the practice of locating the biblical characters in the foreground against a dark background and a preference for a precise, painstaking description of the

Mary, Lady Van Dyck
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Dyck, Anthony Van
Mary, Lady Van Dyck
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Dyck, Anthony Van

In 1640, Van Dyck married Mary Ruthven in England. This lady of Scottish origin died in 1645. He portrayed his wife with her hair pulled back and an oak-leaf headdress alluding to her husband´s name, which means “oak” or “holm oak” in Dutch. She wears a shiny blue dress with a large décolleté, a pearl necklace and a bracelet with which she plays before the viewer in a gesture of clea

The Penintent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Penintent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Jerome meditates before a crucifix in the solitude of his retreat. The numerous objects depicted around him refer to different aspects of his life. The books, papers and writing equipment allude to his celebrated intellectual activities, the skull to his acts of penitence, and the red hat to his status as a cardinal.

The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven
The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven

Born in Flanders, Livio Mehus moved to Milan at a young age and is thus often considered an artist of the Italian school. He is recorded in Rome at the age of fourteen and later in Florence, Lucca and around Genoa. He also worked successively in Piamonte and Lombardy. There is ample documentation of his activity as a painter of frescoes and oils, an expert on northern Italian painting and a restor

Country Celebration
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1650
Teniers The Younger, David
Country Celebration
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1650
Teniers The Younger, David

Peasants or villagers hold a feast in front of a tavern or inn, recognizable by its red flag. They drink, eat and dance to the music of a bagpiper standing on a barrel. On the left, various distinguished personages, who stand out because of their different clothing, look on with a combination of curiosity and indifference. A large church in the background indicates there is a town nearby. On the b

Saint Bernard and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso
Saint Bernard and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso

This scene from the life of Saint Bernard (twelfth century), depicts the moment when the saint received a stream of milk from a statue of the Virgin and Child, on the altar. A Cardinal watches the miracle with his hands joined in prayer. This work combines a monumental sense of forms with a very delicate treatment of color, which are the characteristics Cano´s painting acquired after he got to kno

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

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