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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 Drawing Studio
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del
The Drawing Studio
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del

A childhood scene located on a terrace beside a garden. Three elegantly clothed boys play with a cat. The academic drawing in the background, along with the portfolio and brush belonging to one of the boys, gave this work its name, as though it were an artistic study. This work belongs to a series of scenes related to education that sought to show the Enlightenment´s pedagogical ideas, which relat

Self-Portrait
Oil on canvas. 1884
Domingo Marqués, Francisco
Self-Portrait
Oil on canvas. 1884
Domingo Marqués, Francisco

From an early age, Domingo displayed considerable skill as a portraitist. In this self-portrait, he is seated in profile, standing out against a dark background. In contrast to the intimate, introspective nature of most self-portraits, here the artist clearly had a larger public in mind; this is evident in the format and the clothing, and also in the emphasis on the tools of the painter’s professi

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

Saint Dominic of Guzmán
Oil on panel. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
Saint Dominic of Guzmán
Oil on panel. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven
The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven

Born in Flanders, Livio Mehus moved to Milan at a young age and is thus often considered an artist of the Italian school. He is recorded in Rome at the age of fourteen and later in Florence, Lucca and around Genoa. He also worked successively in Piamonte and Lombardy. There is ample documentation of his activity as a painter of frescoes and oils, an expert on northern Italian painting and a restor

The 12th Marchioness of Villafranca painting her Husband
Oil on canvas. 1804
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The 12th Marchioness of Villafranca painting her Husband
Oil on canvas. 1804
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

María Tomasa Palafox (1780-1835), Marchioness of Villafranca, is shown wearing a white empire-style dress and sitting on a red silk damask armchair, with her feet on a cushion. She is painting a portrait of her husband, Francisco de Borja Álvarez de Toledo y Gonzaga, XI Marquis of Villafranca. The Marchioness received an enlightened education from her mother, the Countess of Montijo.

The Adoration of the Magi
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
The Adoration of the Magi
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1586
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1586
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

A long bust of a young manwith a gaunt face bearing a moustache and goatee, large dark, almond-shaped eyes and a long, thin nose. His short, dark hair brings out his pale complexion. He is dressed in black, with a short ruff collar, and the lapels and collar of his outer garment suggest it is a sort of cassock, although the lack of definition in the sleeves prevents any greater specificity. The ba

The Boy from Vallecas (Francisco Lezcano)
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Boy from Vallecas (Francisco Lezcano)
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1645
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

In the foreground of this canvas, a figure dressed in green holds in his hands what appears to be a pack of cards and looks directly at the viewer, as if to invite us to participate in the game. He is in the countryside, seated under the protection of a rocky crag. Behind him is a landscape that ends in a range of mountains on the horizon. Velázquez painted the portrait around 1638, and it

Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1494
Bosch, Hieronymus
Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1494
Bosch, Hieronymus

The theme of this triptych is the advent of salvation -a message about the universality of Redemption. The Eucharistic meaning inherent in the theme of Saint Gregory’s Mass is also found in The Adoration of the Magi in the wheat stored in the upper part of the hut, above the figure of the Antichrist. Unusually, Bosch includes in his depiction of the Mass of Saint Gregory in semi-grisaille seven Pa

Offering of Flowers
Oil on panel. 1898
Pinazo Camarlench, Ignacio
Offering of Flowers
Oil on panel. 1898
Pinazo Camarlench, Ignacio

A more than half-length image of a young woman in profile, holding up a basket or tray of flowers. This genre subject was very frequent in Pinazo, and here it is joined by the pictorial tradition of floral offereings, which have been common in modern painting since the Renaissance. The technique, however, corresponds to a much more modern concept of painting, with a loose and relaxed application o

The Haywain Triptych
Oil on panel. 1512 - 1515
Bosch, Hieronymus
The Haywain Triptych
Oil on panel. 1512 - 1515
Bosch, Hieronymus

Bosch thus shows how man, irrespective of his social class or place of origin, is so possessed by the desire to enjoy and acquire material possessions that he allows himself to be deceived or seduced by the Devil. Thus the artist proposes that we should renounce earthly goods and the delights of the senses in order to avoid eternal damnation. The painting offers an exemplum of a different type to

The Mouth of the Bidasoa
Oil on canvas. 1872
Rico y Ortega, Martín
The Mouth of the Bidasoa
Oil on canvas. 1872
Rico y Ortega, Martín

A serene landscape with the Bidasoa River´s mouth at the Cantabrian Sea, as seen from the sands of Fuenterrabía. This landscape, along with sixteen other works, was presented by Rico at the Universal Exhibition of 1878 in Paris, where it was qualified as “spiritual, compositions that appear to have been made with drops of light on the end of the brush.” This work entered the Prado Museum as

God the Father painting the Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1690
García Hidalgo, José
God the Father painting the Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1690
García Hidalgo, José

Seated on a cloud, God the Father holds a brush in his right hand, using it to add the final touches to a depiction of the Immaculate Conception. The idea of God as a painter was widespread in Golden Age Spanish culture and was used to allegorically explain the creation of the world or to pay tribute to the art of painting.

María Figueroa, dressed as a menina
Oil on canvas. 1901
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
María Figueroa, dressed as a menina
Oil on canvas. 1901
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín

Sorolla was the most gifted Spanish painter of his generation, excelling in portraiture. In the early years of the twentieth century, and especially after the encouragement of winning the Grand Prize in the 1900 Exposition Universelle Paris, he demonstrated the influence of Velázquez through the use of long, confident brushstrokes. This portrait of María de Figueroa y Bermejillo -the

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

Saint in Prayer
Oil on canvas. 1888 - 1889
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín
Saint in Prayer
Oil on canvas. 1888 - 1889
Sorolla y Bastida, Joaquín

For Sorolla and his wife, the time spent in Italy formed part of the years at the beginning of their relationship when they confronted their first difficulties together. As late as 1915, nearly thirty years after this trip, Sorolla noted in a letter to his wife that he had ‘ordered a little frame for the Virgin you gave me when I left Spain to study in Rome. I think it looks good on it and will ma

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