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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

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.

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

The Miracle of Saint Anthony
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Giordano, Luca
The Miracle of Saint Anthony
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Giordano, Luca

El santo portugués aparece representado de tres cuartos, de pie, junto a un oratorio o bufete cubierto por un paño, sobre el que reposa un libro y una vara de azucenas, mientras sostiene al Niño Jesús en sus brazos. Se trata de una obra en la que Giordano trata de imitar el estilo de Ribera.

Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) was the third son of Charles VII of Naples and his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. When his father acceded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he became king of Naples. The sitter wears the Orders of the Golden Fleece and San Gennaro. His childish grace contrasts with the courtly pomp of the setting.

Bathsheba at her Bath
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1685
Giordano, Luca
Bathsheba at her Bath
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1685
Giordano, Luca

"David contempló desde la terraza de su palacio a la bella Betsabé que se encontraba desnuda bañándose. Preguntó por ella y le respondieron que se trataba de la mujer de Urías, el jeteo, lo cual no desanimó al rey, que mandó llamarla y durmió con ella, quedando Betsabé embarazada. David envió a Urías a la muerte, dejando así libre el camino para tomar por esposa a Betsabé" (Samuel II, 11: 2-27).La

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

Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on panel. First half of the XVII century
Wolfordt, Artus
Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on panel. First half of the XVII century
Wolfordt, Artus

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

A Sybil
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
A Sybil
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The first known reference to this work dates from 1746, when an inventory of paintings at the La Granja Palace was drawn up. There, it is attributed to Velázquez and identified as a likeness of his wife, Juana, whose father was the painter, Francisco Pacheco. It also specifies that she is holding a board. The linking of anonymous portraits to the lives of their authors was frequent in the 1

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

The Burial of Christ
Oil on canvas. 1572
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)
The Burial of Christ
Oil on canvas. 1572
Titian (Tiziano Vecellio)

Titian represented the Gospel account of the burial of Christ (Matthew 27: 57-61; Mark 15: 44-47; Luke 23: 50-54; John 19: 38-42) on several occasions. There is a notable difference between his first version (Paris, Louvre) of around 1526 which is clearly indebted to Raphael´s painting of that subject (Rome, Galleria Borghese), and his other versions painted between 1559 and 1572. The main differe

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