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Still Life with Chocolate Service
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Chocolate Service
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

When describing the work of this prolific painter of still lifes, it is frequently said that Luis Meléndez included only commonplace objects in his canvases; this painting, in fact, offers the exception that proves the rule. Amid the various objects represented here are a porcelain cup and large saucer, or plate, which seem to be East Asian rather than Spanish. Indeed, they may be Cantonese

Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1555
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1555
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti

Joseph is a handsome and virtuous slave falsely accused of rape by his master´s wife, whose advances he has rejected. He is imprisoned, but eventually raised to the highest office by Pharaoh (Exodus: 39). Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar and Susannah and the Elders (P386) can be understood as parables of righteousness threatened and preserved, but here -as was usual for artists of the Renaissance a

The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Cabezalero, Juan Martín
The Assumption of the Virgin
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Cabezalero, Juan Martín

In the shadow of great names like Velázquez, a very interesting school of painting developed in Madrid during the seventeenth century. On occasions, it reached very high levels of quality. One of its members was Cabezalero. Few of his works are known, but they are all of a certain quality, as can be seen in the present Assumption, where this artist´s characteristic taste for monumenta

Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The thin naked torso, the cloth made from rushes, the skull and the book suggest that the figure in the painting is a hermit; the bread crust in the foreground tells us that it is Saint Paul, the first hermit, who was brought half a loaf of bread every day by a raven.

Garland with the Virgin and Child
Oil on copperplate. 1644
Seghers, Daniel
Garland with the Virgin and Child
Oil on copperplate. 1644
Seghers, Daniel

Seghers trained in Antwerp and was a member of the Jesuit Order. Around 1640 he started to paint reliefs with religious motifs framed by garlands. Works of this type proclaimed the legitimacy of images as objects of veneration.

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.

Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Sobre una tosca mesa de madera, descrita táctilmente con los pequeños detalles de la calidad del material, visibles en nudos y muescas, aparecen desordenadamente situadas unas cuantas “peritas de San Juan” y un pan en segundo término, junto al cual se eleva una alcarraza de loza muy blanca que bien pudiera ser andaluza. Se denomina popularmente “jarra de cuatro picos” y muestra una decoración de i

Smokers and Drinkers
Oil on panel. 1652
Teniers The Younger, David
Smokers and Drinkers
Oil on panel. 1652
Teniers The Younger, David

Three figures enjoy tobacco in an expressive manner in the foreground while an onlooker leans through the window. Around a table in the background, another group of figures drinks or plays cards. This is an example of scenes inside taverns with smokers, drinkers and players, which Teniers made during the sixteen thirties. He began with figures by his teacher, Adriaen Brouwer (1605/1606-1638), whic

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

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 Immaculate Conception of El Escorial
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Immaculate Conception of El Escorial
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1665
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

In this personification of the Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, the protagonist, although still very youthful, is not as childlike as those of Zurbarán and Velázquez and lacks the descriptive and symbolic elements commonly found in earlier, undoubtedly archaic versions. Allusions to the litanies are omitted and artist reduces the image to the bare essentials: the young and s

Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1568
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte)
Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1568
Bassano, Jacopo (Jacopo Dal Ponte)

Although for this first version Jacopo borrowed elements from early works such as the young man peeking his head round the column, which appears in the 1536 La fornace ardente (Bassano del Grappa, Museo Civico), he drew mainly from Stefano Cernotto´s Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple (Venice, Accademia, deposited at the Ceni Foundation). Cernotto, an artist of Dalmatian origin who worked

Ecce Homo
Oil on panel. 1560 - 1570
Morales, Luis de
Ecce Homo
Oil on panel. 1560 - 1570
Morales, Luis de

Jesus is shown half-length, crowned with thorns and with a haggard face, parted lips, prominent cheekbones, and moist eyes raised in an attitude of submission to the divine will. His hair, beard, moustache and eyelashes are minutely rendered in a light brown colour. Similarly detailed is the treatment of the tears and drops of blood. The latter, caused by the thorns piercing his forehead and the w

View of the Castle in Gaucín
Oil on canvas. 1849
Pérez Villaamil y Duguet, Genaro
View of the Castle in Gaucín
Oil on canvas. 1849
Pérez Villaamil y Duguet, Genaro

This view of the so-called Eagle’s Castle in Gaucín (Malaga), with the valley of the Genal River and the Plain of Gibraltar in the background, is similar to an earlier view by Villaamil’s master, the Scottish artist David Roberts (1796-1864). The touches of evening light emphasise this monumental vision of the mountains of Ronda, interpreted with a picturesque and evocative grandeur charact

Lady and Girl
Oil on panel. 1567
Cronenburch, Adriaen Van
Lady and Girl
Oil on panel. 1567
Cronenburch, Adriaen Van

These four portraits of women, two double ones and two single ones (P02073, P02074 and P02076) presented standing and down to kneelevel, use the same architectural setting. The series is given visual unity by the use of a central niche and two more, barely visible ones at the sides, separated by masonry pillars and decorated with small lions’ heads in the centre.This use of shared elements is prob

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

The penitent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1652
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
The penitent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1652
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Emerging from a dark background, a half-length image of a man appears in the close foreground, his right shoulder and arm bare, his hair white and long, his features aged. He holds a wooden cross in his left hand and with his right he strikes his chest with a stone. The cross identifies him as a saint; his nakedness and dishevelled appearance indicate he is a hermit or a penitent; the stone with w

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