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Still Life with Animals
Oil on canvas. 1680 - 1690
Hondecoeter, Melchior D´
Still Life with Animals
Oil on canvas. 1680 - 1690
Hondecoeter, Melchior D´

The painting featured here is an example of the characteristic compositions with poultry in which D`Hondecoeter specialised. This type of painting was brought to Utrecht in 1619 by Roeland Savery (1576-1639), who had, in turn, been introduced to this genre -of which the most prominent and influential practitioner was Frans Snyders (1592-1667)- while at the court of Rudolf II of Prague.D`Hondecoete

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

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

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

Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Dyck, Anthony Van
Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Dyck, Anthony Van

This is one of a number of images of Saint Rosalia that Van Dyck painted in Sicily, where he lived from 1624 to 1625. It depicts the hermit saint in her cave on Mount Pellegrino near Palermo. Rosalia’s cult gained popularity during the outbreak of the plague that devastated the city in the 1620s.

Philip IV in Armour, with a Lion at his Feet
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)
Philip IV in Armour, with a Lion at his Feet
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)

In its present state the painting reveals two different phases of creation. The apparent age of the sitter and the notable similarities with his appearance in Velázquez`s portrait of the elderly Philip IV in the Museo del Prado (P01185) have meant that this painting is generally dated to the 1650s. However, technical studies have revealed important changes, primarily affecting the head and

The Holy Family under an Oak Tree
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Romano, Giulio (Giovanni Francesco Penni); Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)
The Holy Family under an Oak Tree
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Romano, Giulio (Giovanni Francesco Penni); Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio)

Leaning on a classical ruin, Saint Joseph looks at the Virgin Mary with the Christ Child in her lap. Jesus, in turn, is receiving a roll with the words Ecce Agnus Dei from Saint John. This Latin inscription meaning Lamb of God refers to the Passion of Christ, who sacrifices himself, just as lambs were sacrified by the Jews, in order to save humanity from sin. The oak tree standing behind the main

The Lamentation
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Lamentation
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

Christ rests, lifeless, on his own shroud. He is held by his Mother, who looks imploringly to the heavens. Mary Magdalene kisses his hand while Saint John contemplates the scene from behind. The Crown, Nails and Hebrew, Greek and Latin inscription on a paper in the foreground recall the Crucifixion. Jesus’ posture on Mary’s knees and the work’s dramatic presentation are linked to the Medieval Germ

Saint Joseph with the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Martínez, Sebastián
Saint Joseph with the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Martínez, Sebastián

Saint Joseph grasps Jesus’s arm to prevent him from taking fruit from the basket. This action is loaded with meaning, given the sacrificial and Eucharistic significance of both the Child’s violet tunic and the grapes and pomegranates that predominate in the fruit basket. The painter, who is now getting better known, worked in Jaen and at Court in Madrid in the mid-seventeenth century.

The Virgin and Child on a Throne of Angels
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1661
Espinosa, Jerónimo Jacinto
The Virgin and Child on a Throne of Angels
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1661
Espinosa, Jerónimo Jacinto

Espinosa was the leading painter working in Valencia in the mid-seventeenth century. He deployed a naturalistic style characterised by precise description and a selective use of light. Most of his works depict religious themes, including the present canvas with its unusual subject matter. The compositional rigour and monumental character make this canvas particularly outstanding within Espinosa’s

Southern Landscape with Shepherds beneath a Ruined Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1647
Asselijn, Jan
Southern Landscape with Shepherds beneath a Ruined Arch
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1647
Asselijn, Jan

This scene belongs to the type of Italianate landscape which Asselijn cultivated in Holland based on drawings and sketches made from the life during his stay in Rome. Blankert (1965) dates the work to 1648. However, Steland-Stief (1971) believes it to have been painted around 1647, the first year Asselijn is documented in Amsterdam after returning from Italy, on account of the stylistic similarity

Margaret Theresa of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1665 - 1666
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista
Margaret Theresa of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1665 - 1666
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista

Margarita was born on 12 July 1651, the daughter of Philip IV and Mariana of Austria. On 12 December 1666, she married Emperor Leopold of Austria and died seven years later in Vienna. The fact that the princess is wearing mourning dress in this painting helps date it between September 1665 -when her father died- and her wedding in December 1666. Those dates suggest that the portrait was made in or

Prince Baltasar Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1645
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista
Prince Baltasar Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1645
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista

Baltasar Carlos (1629-1646) was the son of Philip IV and the heir to the throne. He is depicted here shortly before his early death in an image that adheres to the type devised by Velázquez for his early court portraits such as that of the Infante Don Carlos (P1188). As in that work, the sitter here wears a dark suit and holds his glove in a particularly elegant manner.

The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

Various figures surround Christ and mock him. An armed soldier and an executioner place the Crown of Thorns on his head while another offers him a cane as his scepter. The scene is contemplated by two other figures through a window. This work from Van Dyck’s youth is strongly influenced by Venetian painting, and in fact, Jesus’ figure is directly based on a model by Titian. The composition, with C

Weapons and Hunting Equipment
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1700
Victoria, Vicente
Weapons and Hunting Equipment
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1700
Victoria, Vicente

Although this painting bears a curious apocryphal signature in large letters at the lower left corner of the canvas, Pérez Sanchez (1983) attributed it to Victoria in 1983 on the basis of its Valencian provenance and that clergyman’s (he was a canon) reputation for making works of this sort. But, while other collections have similar pieces, this attribution raises doubts that may eventually

Saint Francis of Assisi in the Porziuncola with the Donors Antonio Contreras and María Amezquita
Oil on canvas. 1659
Caro, Francisco
Saint Francis of Assisi in the Porziuncola with the Donors Antonio Contreras and María Amezquita
Oil on canvas. 1659
Caro, Francisco

Christ and the Virgin Mary appear to Saint Francis at the church of la Porziuncola and the saint asks them for plenary indulgence for all pilgrims to that site. We know the artist´s name because it is revealed by the signature halfway up the canvas on the right, as well as through Antonio Palomino´s Museo Pictórico (1724). Palomino´s biography of Francisco Caro (ca.1627-1667) in that book p

Susannah and the Elders
Oil on canvas. 1617
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Susannah and the Elders
Oil on canvas. 1617
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Historian Denis Mahon has masterfully shown that this painting and two other famous works by Guercino -Lot and his daughters (Monastery of El Escorial, Madrid) and The return of the Prodigal Son (Galleria Sabauda, Turin)- were painted for Cardinal Alessandro Ludovisi in 1617 and 1618, while the artist was in Bologna.According to the Old Testament (Daniel:13), Archian and Sedechia were two elderly

The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul

Wearing a red tunic, blue robes and a crown of stars, the Virgin treads on a serpent carrying the apple of Sin, in keeping with the customary iconography for this Catholic image. By placing Mary over a globe, Rubens made one of his most striking images of the Immaculate Conception. The two angels carrying a palm and a laurel-leaf crown are a classic reference to Mary´s triumph. References to Class

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