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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

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

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

The Fall of Icarus
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Gowy, Jacob Peeter
The Fall of Icarus
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Gowy, Jacob Peeter

Ícaro, hijo de Dédalo el constructor del laberinto del Minotauro, trató de huir con su padre de la isla de Creta con unas alas creadas por su padre que había pegado a la espalda con cera. Ovidio cuenta su historia en el libro VIII de las Metamorfosis (185-235): "(...) el muchacho empezó a recrearse en su atrevido vuelo, abandonó a su guía y, arrastrado por sus ansias de cielo, remontó el vuelo. La

The Spinners, or the Fable of Arachne
Oil on canvas. 1655 - 1660
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Spinners, or the Fable of Arachne
Oil on canvas. 1655 - 1660
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This painting is the result of two acts carried out in different periods. First, Velázquez painted the surface occupied by the figures and the tapestry in the background. Later, in the 18th century, a wide strip (with the arch and oculus) was added to the top, along with narrower ones on the left, right and bottom (these additions are not visible in the current presentation of this work). T

Mercury
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (Workshop Of)
Mercury
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (Workshop Of)

Mercury, the son of Jupiter and Maya, bears his characteristic attributes as the gods´ messenger: a winged hat and shoes, as well as the caduceus, a hazel wand with two serpents wound around it, which Apollo gave him as a symbol of agreement and reconciliation. The god´s anatomy and the use of paint give this figure a sculptural appearance, showing Rubens capacity to depict on canvas some of the m

The Boy from Vallecas (Francisco Lezcano)
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Boy from Vallecas (Francisco Lezcano)
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

In the foreground of this canvas, a figure dressed in green holds in his hands what appears to be a pack of cards and looks directly at the viewer, as if to invite us to participate in the game. He is in the countryside, seated under the protection of a rocky crag. Behind him is a landscape that ends in a range of mountains on the horizon. Velázquez painted the portrait around 1638, and it

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

Abdication of Charles III
Oil on canvas. 1759
Joli, Antonio
Abdication of Charles III
Oil on canvas. 1759
Joli, Antonio

On August 10, 1759, Ferdinand VI died without a descendant. As a result, his stepbrother Charles, then King of Naples and Sicily, inherited the Spanish throne. The first of seven children of Philip V and his second wife Isabel Farnese, Charles VII had reigned for a period of almost 24 years in Naples. In 1738, he had married the Pricess María Amalia of Saxony, and their thirteen children we

Apollo and Daphne
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Thulden, Theodoor Van
Apollo and Daphne
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Thulden, Theodoor Van

Ovidio cuenta la transformación de Dafne en árbol en el libro I de las Metamorfosis (452-552): "(...) El primer amor de Febo fue Dafne, la hija de Peneo, un amor que no produjo el ignorante azar, sino la cruel ira de Cupido. (...) Apolo se disponía a seguir hablando cuando huye en temerosa carrera la hija de Peneo y lo dejó con la palabra en la boca(...). Agotadas sus fuerzas, palideció ella y ven

Prince Baltasar Carlos in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Prince Baltasar Carlos in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The inscription at the lower left serves to date this portrait between October 1635 and the same month the following year. At that time, following his first Italian visit and his permanent and conscientious study of the Royal Collections, Velázquez had already reached full artistic maturity. The protagonist of this work is young Prince Baltasar Carlos, son of Philip IV and Elizabeth of Bour

Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Between 1635 and 1637, important additions were made to the Torre de la Parada, the king´s hunting pavilion situated in the woodlands surrounding the royal palace of El Pardo, on the outskirts of Madrid. During these years, a major project was undertaken to decorate the building with paintings, for which principally Peter Paul Rubens was called upon. Rubens conceived of an extensive programme of m

Orpheus and the Animals
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Thulden, Theodoor Van; Snyders, Frans
Orpheus and the Animals
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Thulden, Theodoor Van; Snyders, Frans

This scene is inspired by a passage from the Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid. Orpheus, the mythological Greek musician and poet, sung and played the lyre so sublimely that all the animals, even the fiercest, came up close to listen to him. In another episode from Orpheus’s life he made use of music to try to rescue his wife Eurydice from the Underworld. From Antiquity to the present day that

Cadmus and Minerva
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacques
Cadmus and Minerva
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacques

La historia de Cadmo y la aparición de Minerva aparece en el libro III de las Metamorfosis (95-114): "(...) Mientras el vencedor calcula el tamaño del enemigo vencido, se oyó de repente una voz; no era posible saber de donde venía, pero se oyó: "¿Por qué miras, hijo de Agénor, la serpiente que has matado? También tú serás serpiente y te mirarán" (...)Deslizándose por el cielo aparece Palas y le or

Vulcan forging the Thunderbolts of Jupiter
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
Vulcan forging the Thunderbolts of Jupiter
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

Peter Paul Rubens executed this painting between 1636 and 1637 on a commission from Philip IV for the Torre de la Parada. The decoration of this royal hunting pavilion, in which other artists such as Diego Velázquez participated, was the most important commission Rubens received from the Spanish monarch. Beginning in 1636, he sent more than 60 works from Antwerp to Madrid for the royal plea

Louis of France, the Grand Dauphin
Oil on canvas. 1663
Beaubrun, Charles; Beaubrun, Henri
Louis of France, the Grand Dauphin
Oil on canvas. 1663
Beaubrun, Charles; Beaubrun, Henri

The eldest son of Louis XIV and the Spanish Infanta María Teresa of Austria, Louis was born in Fontainebleau, 01.11.1661, receiving the title of Dauphin as heir to the French throne. Married to Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, their son, the future Philip V of Spain (born in 1683) inherited from his father the so-called Dauphin’s Treasure, now in the Museo del Prado. Louis died in 14-04-1711

Still Life with Artichokes, Flowers and Glass Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1627
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der
Still Life with Artichokes, Flowers and Glass Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1627
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der

This magnificent painting once belonged to Diego Mexía Felípez de Guzmán, Marquis of Leganés, in whose collection it was inventoried in 1655. This collection of nearly 1300 paintings comprised works by some of the most important European painters of the time, including a great number of Flemish still lifes and genre paintings. Van der Hamen was represented by nine still

The Marriage at Cana
Oil on canvas. XVI century
Bassano, Leandro
The Marriage at Cana
Oil on canvas. XVI century
Bassano, Leandro

There is a print by Pietro Monaco (1707-1772), published by Guglielmo Zerletti in Venice in 1763, which reproduces a painting of the Marriage at Cana then attributed to Jacopo and owned by the lawyer Giulio Crivellari. In Spain, a composition with the same title though smaller (112 x 84 cm approximately) was listed in the 1711 inventory of the 9th Duke of Medinaceli. The original painting, probabl

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