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The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado

Moses Striking Water from the Rock and The Bronze Serpent are related to frescos on the same subjects in the apse of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Those decorations commissioned in 1743 by the procurer general of the Cistercians and abbot of Santa Croce, Raimondo Besozzi, were paid by Pope Benedict XIV. As was his custom, Giaquinto painted various versions of the compositions

Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Charles II was born in 1661, the only son of Philip IV and his second wife (and niece), Mariana of Austria, to survive to adulthood. Charles succeeded his father in 1665 and died without an heir in 1700 at the age of 39, thus bringing to an end the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. According to the date on this portrait, the king would have been 20 years old at the time. His long hair is worn in a similar

Philip IV in prayer
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)
Philip IV in prayer
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)

This pair of portraits (P001220 and P001222) combines several aspects of Spanish portraiture of the Baroque period. In principle, the figures of Philip IV and his second wife, Mariana of Austria, are a continuation of the donor-tradition that goes back to medieval religious painting. The client would be incorporated, kneeling or prostrate in a reverential position, into the religious scene that he

Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1673
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1673
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Charles II stands in the Alcázar Palace’s Hall of Mirrors, alongside a porphyry table held up by two of Mateo Bonuccelli’s gilded bronze lions. The monarch is dressed in black silk, as was cutomary in royal portraits of the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty since the time of Philip II. He wears the Golden Fleece on a necklace and has a sword on his belt. He holds a folded report in his

Still Life with Vase of Flowers and a Puppy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der
Still Life with Vase of Flowers and a Puppy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der

This work and its companion (P6413) belonged to Jean de Croy, Count of Solre and captain of the Flemish Royal Guard of Archers, of which Van der Hamen was a member. Unframed, the two paintings hung in De Croy’s Madrid palace, where they flanked the entrance to the painting gallery. As such, they may have served as a trompe l’oeil expansion of the real space, whose floor they probably reproduce. Th

Kitchen Boy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
López Caro, Francisco
Kitchen Boy
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
López Caro, Francisco

A table bears various earthenware vessels, a portable stove, a bronze mortar and two peppers. At its corner, a boy looks out of the painting. A sausage and a rabbit hang from above. The boy and objects are depicted with a naturalist technique that explores the descriptive possibilities of contrasting light and shadows with a particular taste for dark browns and earth tones in general.This concept

Still Life with Vase of Flowers and a Dog
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der
Still Life with Vase of Flowers and a Dog
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der

This work and its companion (P4158) belonged to Jean de Croy, Count of Solre and captain of the Flemish Royal Guard of Archers, of which Van der Hamen was a member. Unframed, the two paintings hung in De Croy’s Madrid palace, where they flanked the entrance to the painting gallery. As such, they may have served as a trompe l’oeil expansion of the real space, whose floor they probably reproduce. Th

The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1660
Bourdon, Sébastien
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1660
Bourdon, Sébastien

A depiction of the Old Testament passage (Numbers 21, 4-9) in which God orders Moses to make a bronze snake on a stick. Merely looking at it would cure those repentant sinners who had been punished with snakebites for having spoken against God or Moses. In this scene we see a bearded Moses with a red tunic pointing to the snake. He is surrounded by sick Israelites who beg for forgiveness and heali

Moses Striking Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado
Moses Striking Water from the Rock
Oil on canvas. 1743 - 1744
Giaquinto, Corrado

Moses Striking Water from the Rock and The Bronze Serpent are related to frescos on the same subjects in the apse of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Those decorations commissioned in 1743 by the procurer general of the Cistercians and abbot of Santa Croce, Raimondo Besozzi, were paid by Pope Benedict XIV. As was his custom, Giaquinto painted various versions of the compositions

Vase of Flowers decorated with a Triumphal Chariot seen in Profile
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Vase of Flowers decorated with a Triumphal Chariot seen in Profile
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

This canvas with clearly defined characteristics is paired with another work at the Museo del Prado (P7912) whose shared circumstances help us to appreciate Hiepes’s achievements even more -especially his capacity to reflect the infinite aesthetic possibilities offered by the subject matter associated with still lifes. That second work was signed and dated in 1643, which allows us to assign a simi

Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

When Rubens visited the Spanish court in Madrid from late August 1628 until April 1629, he copied many of the numerous paintings by Titian in the royal collection. He was seduced by the radical technique of broken brushstrokes characteristic of the late works of the Venetian, which inspired his own way of painting from this time until his death in 1640. He must also have been drawn by the emotiona

The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1620
Dyck, Anthony Van

This dramatic scene from the Old Testament (Numbers 21, 5-9) depicts the moment when Moses saves his people from the snakes sent by God as punishment for their lack of faith. The bronze serpent on a rod, whose mere contemplation is sufficient to cure anyone bitten by a snake, symbolizes salvation. The image thus foreshadows Christ’s crucifixion, which brings redemption to humankind and triumphs ov

Mariana de Austria in Prayer
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)
Mariana de Austria in Prayer
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)

This pair of portraits (P01220 and P01222) combines several aspects of Spanish portraiture of the Baroque period. In principle, the figures of Philip IV and his second wife, Mariana of Austria, are a continuation of the donor-tradition that goes back to medieval religious painting. The client would be incorporated, kneeling or prostrate in a reverential position, into the religious scene that he o

Vault with the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy
Fresco-secco, Fresco painting on wall covering. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca
Vault with the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy
Fresco-secco, Fresco painting on wall covering. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca

The vault of the former Hall of Ambassadors at the Buen Retiro Palace, constructed alongside the former Royal Quarters of San Jerónimo at the behest of the Count-Duke of Olivares as a royal residence for leisure and for the monarchs’ public and official receptions. In the eastern part of this complex, a small building was erected after the palace itself was completed (1632). It was designed

Still life with kitchenware and asparaguses
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1652
Arias, Ignacio
Still life with kitchenware and asparaguses
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1652
Arias, Ignacio

This still life´s composition and the elements depicted therein make it an excellent example of that genre´s peculiar evolution in the Madrid court during the central decades of the 17th century.It bears a curious resemblance to works known to be by Mateo Cerezo (1637-1666) and those attributed to his immediate circle, as well as to works by other artists of his time or immediately bef

Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

Flower painting quickly became a sub-genre of still life painting in which several Spanish artists became specialists. Hiepes was an assiduous proponent throughout his career and he specialized in flower vases like the present one and its pair (P7913), which look like the work of no other Spanish painter. They are quite large works characterized by their monumentality and symmetry. Instead of seek

Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea
Vase of Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1694 - 1700
Belvedere, Andrea

Towards the edges of two moulded stone shelves rest two bronze vases with broad decorated bases and slender stems embraced, in one case by a group of tritons (P550) and, in the other by, a group of minute cherubs that support the upper section like dynamic Atlanteans (P549). These bases bear prodigious bouquets that are skilfully arranged with contrasting textures and colours that generate a marve

The Garden of the Fortuny Residence
Oil on panel. 1872 - 1877
Fortuny, Mariano; Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
The Garden of the Fortuny Residence
Oil on panel. 1872 - 1877
Fortuny, Mariano; Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

This work bears exceptional witness to the concurrence of Fortuny’s painting with that of his close friend, Raimundo de Madrazo. Begun by the former, it was completed after his death by the latter with a completely concordant style that does not, however, hide Madrazo’s own individuality. Fortuny had been living in Granada since the summer of 1870 and he spent the best days of his life there befor

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