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The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. 1547
Machuca, Pedro
The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. 1547
Machuca, Pedro

Christ´s body is taken from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. On the ground, Mary Magdalene extends her arms to him while the Virgin weeps sorrowfully. The depiction of these customary figures is rounded out by the presence of a soldier with renaissance armor and two children, one with a handkerchief tied around his head. These realistic details give Machuca´s scene a special charact

A Venetian General
Oil on canvas. 1570 - 1575
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
A Venetian General
Oil on canvas. 1570 - 1575
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti

A portrait of a Venetian soldier wearing armor. He holds a baton in his right hand and his weapons in his left. Turned, he extends his arm toward the viewer, thus opening a third dimension in this composition strengthened by the force of his gaze. It has not been possible to confirm the identity of the sitter, but we must point out the similarity of this work's general composition to that of the p

The Virgin and Child adored by Saint Louis, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Coello, Claudio
The Virgin and Child adored by Saint Louis, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Coello, Claudio

Surrounded by angels, the Holy Family, with Saint Elizabeth and the infant Saint John, receive Saint Louis, King of France. The background combines architecture and curtains. This work is organized like a large stage set, using the infant Saint John and an adjacent lamb to invite the viewer to participate. The dynamic and complex composition with its brilliant and expansive colors recalls models f

The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)

Saint Mena extends his arms and raises his gaze to Heaven, refusing to worship the graven idol presented to him at the left of the composition. As a result, he was martyred and decapitated. His suffering occurred in the year 296, under the rule of Diocletian. It is indicated here by the sword held by the person who has seized the saint, and by the pliers in the basket, which were used to pull out

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

Armida and Rinaldo
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca
Armida and Rinaldo
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca

Ubaldo y Carlo lograron penetrar en el palacio encantado de Armida, donde se encontraba ella con Reinaldo, entregados a sus juegos amatorios. Reinaldo, apoyado sobre la joven, contempla su rostro reflejado en un espejo. Dos figuras asoman en el bosque para urgirle a que abandone su retiro amoroso y regresar al combate.

The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix
The Recapture of Saint Christopher
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Castello, Félix

The island of Saint Christopher (modern-day Saint Kitts) in the Lesser Antilles was invaded by the English and French and recaptured by Spanish forces in 1629. The Spanish expedition was led by Fadrique de Toledo y Osorio, I Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza and Captain General of the Ocean Fleet. He was accompanied by Fleet General Martín de Vallecilla and Admiral Antonio de Oquendo. After

Saint Bruno Appears to Rogerio Guiscardo, Count of Apulia and Calabria
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
Saint Bruno Appears to Rogerio Guiscardo, Count of Apulia and Calabria
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente

On August 29, 1626, King Philip IV’s painter, Vicente Carducho (ca. 1576-1638), signed a contract for the creation of a cycle of paintings to celebrate the founding of the Carthusian Order by Saint Bruno and its leading members. This colossal undertaking sought to visually narrate numerous episodes from the Carthusians’ history and tradition. It was the most complete commission ever dedicated to t

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background. Rubens painted this wo

The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul

This panel is one of the models designed by Rubens for a series of tapestries on the life of the Consul Publius Decius(4th century BC). It offers an extremely eloquent depiction of this Roman hero’s moral example: following a prediction in a dream, he stoically sacrificed his own life in exchange for his people’s final victory over the Latins.

Cavalry Combat
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Wouwerman, Philips
Cavalry Combat
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Wouwerman, Philips

The main scene occupies the foreground, though it is no longer set in the plane closest to the viewer as in the previous period, but slightly further back. As a result, the figures are smaller in size. The horizon line is also lower, affording the sky greater prominence. Furthermore, although the composition is still partly enclosed in the background by a diagonal, it extends into the distance on

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
Oil on canvas. 1734
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto
The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
Oil on canvas. 1734
Meléndez, Miguel Jacinto

The Count of Orgaz died in 1323. According to legend, Saint Augustine and Saint Stephen appeared during his burial in the church of Santo Tomé in Toledo where, supporting the Count by the head and feet respectively, the saints deposited his body in his tomb. Quite different to El Greco´s famous interpretation, the horizontal format allowed Meléndez to present an impressive, theatrica

Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Patinir, Joachim
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Patinir, Joachim

The Virgin and Child are placed on a hill in the centre of the foreground, isolated from the rest of the figures, as in the Berlin panel (Gemäldegalerie ). The dark forest here begins in the middle ground behind the Virgin, merging with the background landscape to one side of the main figure. The countryside to the right, with the motifs of the farm, the village in the middle ground and the c

Marriage of Peleus and Thetis
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacques
Marriage of Peleus and Thetis
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Jordaens, Jacques

As with the Rape of Hippodamia (P01658), this marriage scene was commissioned from Rubens as part of the mythological cycle drawn from Ovid´s Metamorphoses, which was to serve as the main artistic decoration of the Torre de la Parada. While Rubens prepared the oil sketch for the scene (Art Institute of Chicago), the Marriage of Peleus and Thetis was one of the numerous full-scale canvases whose ex

Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This image of King Charles III was paired with a portrait of his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony (P2201), although the image of the queen was not painted in her presence. Instead, it was invented on the basis of other likenesses, as she died before the artist was able to paint her.Mengs’s effigie of Charles III became the monarch’s official image and was therefore the object of various replicas. One

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 Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado

Mounted on a white steed and flanked by an angel bearing a flag, Saint James gallops over a multitude of fallen Moors and horses. The battle scene occupies a rocky landscape in the middle ground. This canvas is a sketch for the elliptical dome at the entrance to the Royal Palace’s chapel and was painted by Giaquinto between 1756 and 1757. The canvas and its corresponding fresco are clearly derived

The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David
The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David

Of the artists who painted war scenes in the 17th century, none was as interested as David Teniers II in capturing images from behind the lines. With his customary tactile rigor, he depicts a plethora of military objects lying in the foreground with no apparent order and a handful of figures hanging cuirasses or helping their colleagues to remove their footgear. At the same time, he draws on one o

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