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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

The Birth of the Virgin
Oil on panel. Ca. 1528
Benson, Ambrosius
The Birth of the Virgin
Oil on panel. Ca. 1528
Benson, Ambrosius

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.

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.

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

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

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Rizi, Francisco
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Rizi, Francisco

These two canvases (The Adoration of the Magi, P1129 and The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, P1130) were part of a small altar piece in the convent of Los Angéles in Madrid, a work that also included The Annunciation (P1128). The present canvases are typical of the mature style of this artist, who made masterly use of a range of warm colours applied with an extremely free brushstroke i

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

The Model Aline Masson
Oil on panel. Ca. 1876
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Model Aline Masson
Oil on panel. Ca. 1876
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

Aline Masson was Madrazo’s favourite model for genre paintings. Her heavy-lidded gaze and slightly defiant attitude convey the frivolous atmosphere of Paris, where Madrazo’s portraits met with great acclaim. Here, the artist displays his technical skill in using a reduced range of colours, applied with deft, confident brushstrokes.

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

Kitchen still life with a hare and two partridges
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1785
Nani, Mariano
Kitchen still life with a hare and two partridges
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1785
Nani, Mariano

Utilising an almost photographic, frontal composition that enhances the naturalism of the image, Mariano Nani here depicts with great descriptive effectiveness the catch from a day’s hunting, which has just been tied with a piece of rope and suspended from nails hammered into the wall. We see a large hare, with white and hazelnut-coloured fur, hanging upside down by one of its hind legs, to allow

The Surrender of Jülich
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Leonardo, Jusepe
The Surrender of Jülich
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Leonardo, Jusepe

The capitulation of the Rhenish city of Jülich was one of the most outstanding events at the beginning of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Occupied by Maurice of Nassau’s French troops since 1610, Jülich surrendered to an army led by the Marquis of Los Balbases, General Ambrosio de Spínola, who would later triumph at Breda. This event took place after the truce established in 160

Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca
Saint Rosalia
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca

The saint holds a bunch of Madonna lilies in allusion to her purity and a garland of roses that recalls her name. Her attitude brings this depiction closer to the most characteristic models of Guido Reni. Born in Naples, Giordano painted in Spain between 1692 and 1702. He is notable for his mural paintings, such as those executed for the Casón del Buen Retiro.

Lady covering her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico
Lady covering her Breast
Oil on canvas. 1580 - 1590
Tintoretto, Domenico

The two canvases P382 y P384 are by the same artist and were probably intended as a pair. Their meaning can be gleaned from L’arte de Cenni (1616), the most important treatise on gestures of its day, written by the jurist Giovanni Bonifacio. According to Bonifacio, revealing a bare breast signifies sincerity, “as the breast is the location of the heart and when referring to speaking truly and sinc

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