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Saint Joseph with the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Martínez, Sebastián
Saint Joseph with the Christ Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Martínez, Sebastián

Saint Joseph grasps Jesus’s arm to prevent him from taking fruit from the basket. This action is loaded with meaning, given the sacrificial and Eucharistic significance of both the Child’s violet tunic and the grapes and pomegranates that predominate in the fruit basket. The painter, who is now getting better known, worked in Jaen and at Court in Madrid in the mid-seventeenth century.

Saint Benedict's Vision of the Globe and the three Angels
Oil on canvas. 1658 - 1660
Cano, Alonso
Saint Benedict's Vision of the Globe and the three Angels
Oil on canvas. 1658 - 1660
Cano, Alonso

A native of the province of Nursia, the holy abbot that founded the Benedictine Order in the sixth century appears inside his cell, where he witnesses the apparition of a globe held by three angels in the presence of the Trinity. This work denotes the Venetian influences which Cano absorbed in court, allowing him to create a canvas characterized by a magnificent use of paint, resolving colors with

The Virgin and Child
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso
The Virgin and Child
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso

With its very straightforward composition, this painting has the serenity and restfulness that characterize many of Alonso Cano´s religious works. The painter´s skill at assimilating the most varied influences is evident here: the composition is based on a well-known religious print by Dürer, while the palette bears a certain resemblance to Titian´s, and the Virgin is quite close to Rafael´s

Saint Francis of Assisi in the Porziuncola with the Donors Antonio Contreras and María Amezquita
Oil on canvas. 1659
Caro, Francisco
Saint Francis of Assisi in the Porziuncola with the Donors Antonio Contreras and María Amezquita
Oil on canvas. 1659
Caro, Francisco

Christ and the Virgin Mary appear to Saint Francis at the church of la Porziuncola and the saint asks them for plenary indulgence for all pilgrims to that site. We know the artist´s name because it is revealed by the signature halfway up the canvas on the right, as well as through Antonio Palomino´s Museo Pictórico (1724). Palomino´s biography of Francisco Caro (ca.1627-1667) in that book p

Juan Martínez Montañés
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Juan Martínez Montañés
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

A sculptor is shown modeling (possibly in wax) a head of Philip IV, making this one of the most important 17th-century Spanish portraits of an artist. Besides its impeccable quality, this work is a veritable manifesto on the image art makers wanted to project of themselves. The sculptor looks fixedly at the viewer, making his expression and face (where the Idea resides) more important that his man

Two Kings of Spain
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1641
Cano, Alonso
Two Kings of Spain
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1641
Cano, Alonso

Along with P00632, this is the only surviving testimony to the series of likenesses of kings that adorned the monarch’s bedroom or Room of Furies at the Alcázar in Madrid, and was later at the Hall of Comedies or Golden Hall. The painters commissioned for this series were: Félix Castello, Jusepe Leonardo, Antonio Arias, Francisco Camilo, Francisco Fernández, Pedro Nú&nt

The Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth and John
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVII century
Bocanegra, Pedro Atanasio
The Virgin and Child with Saints Elizabeth and John
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVII century
Bocanegra, Pedro Atanasio

This holy conversation conceived with a closed scheme that reflects the Renaissance tradition, and human models based directly on those used by Alonso Cano, has a degree of immediacy and spontaneous familiarity derived from how the different figures relate to each other. Young Saint John draws near to kiss his infant cousin Jesus´ hand while John´s mother expresses their family relatio

The Crucified Christ with a Painter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Zurbarán, Francisco de
The Crucified Christ with a Painter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Zurbarán, Francisco de

A painter devoutly contemplates the almost-sculptural figure of Christ on the Cross, which stands out against the dark background. It is Saint Luke, who was not only an evangelist, but also a doctor and artist. This biblical reference may actually hide a more general allusion to the value of painting as the art that is most useful as an instrument of religious devotion. It has also been pointed ou

The Stigmata of Saint Francis
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1651
Cano, Alonso
The Stigmata of Saint Francis
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1651
Cano, Alonso

This canvas was part of the decoration of the chapel dedicated to that saint at the Franciscan convent of Santa María de Jesús (known as San Diego de Alcalá) in Alcalá de Henares. Part of its considerable interest is that it may be considered a fine example of the artist’s Madrid period, around 1650-52, when he made some of his finest works. Stylistically, it is probabl

Saint James of the Marches
Oil on canvas. 1659 - 1660
Zurbarán, Francisco de
Saint James of the Marches
Oil on canvas. 1659 - 1660
Zurbarán, Francisco de

The Franciscan friar Jacopo della Marca (1391-1476) was known for his reforming zeal and for his involvement in a complex debate on the divinity of Christ’s blood, shed during the Passion. The present scene refers to this episode and is one of a series of four paintings executed for the chapel of San Diego in Alcalá de Henares, a project in which Alonso Cano was also involved. Procede del

Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Cano, Alonso
Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on canvas. XVII century
Cano, Alonso

Saint Bernard and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso
Saint Bernard and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. 1645 - 1652
Cano, Alonso

This scene from the life of Saint Bernard (twelfth century), depicts the moment when the saint received a stream of milk from a statue of the Virgin and Child, on the altar. A Cardinal watches the miracle with his hands joined in prayer. This work combines a monumental sense of forms with a very delicate treatment of color, which are the characteristics Cano´s painting acquired after he got to kno

Saint Peter liberated by an Angel
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1657
Cano, Alonso
Saint Peter liberated by an Angel
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1657
Cano, Alonso

Saint Peter was sleeping when an angel woke him in order to break his chains and release him from prison. The stone block on which the saint is sleeping and the keys and sandals on the floor are his identifying attributes. The painting’s unusual format reflects its original function as an over-door in the convent of the Ángel Custodio (Guardian Angel) in Granada.

The crucified Christ
Oil on canvas. 1631
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The crucified Christ
Oil on canvas. 1631
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Unlike the Christ Crucified (P1161) from the convent of San Plácido, whose authorship and extraordinary merits are uncontested, the present work has produced division of opinions among historians. Some do not consider it a work by Velázquez’s hand, while others point out that it bears his signature. Still, it seems rather strange that a painter who preferred not to put his name on hi

Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVII century
Cano, Alonso (Attributed To)
Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVII century
Cano, Alonso (Attributed To)

The holy evangelist sits on a boulder with a book in his hands. He looks to the heavens where a tenuous light reveals a vision of the woman and dragon of the Apocalypse. The composition is similar to José de Ribera´s Saint Jerome Hearing the Trumpets of the Last Judgement, while the young evangelist´s facial features recall those of Saint John the Evangelist from the Apostolate

Christ the Saviour appears to Saint Teresa
Oil on canvas. 1629
Cano, Alonso
Christ the Saviour appears to Saint Teresa
Oil on canvas. 1629
Cano, Alonso

This scene is based on Las moradas [The mansions] (1588), the text by the Saint in which she describes her “spiritual marriage” to Christ. Like its pair (P8152), this canvas was part of the altarpiece of Saint Teresa in the monastery of San Alberto in Seville. Both were painted in the same year that Zurbarán executed The Apparition of Saint Peter to Saint Peter Nolasco, which shares the vis

The Crucifixion
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1665
Cano, Alonso
The Crucifixion
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1665
Cano, Alonso

The crucifix is probably the most characteristic image in Christian iconography, and it was certainly one of the most widely depicted and owned in the Spain of the Habsburg monarchs. Sculptures or paintings of Christ on the cross, in their many different forms, were used for private devotion in laypeople’s houses and were displayed in nearly all churches and chapels of the time. Subjects related t

The Dead Christ supported by an Angel
Oil on canvas. 1646 - 1652
Cano, Alonso
The Dead Christ supported by an Angel
Oil on canvas. 1646 - 1652
Cano, Alonso

In this painting, an angel with a sorrowful expression supports the body of Christ in an upright, seated position. The clearly visible wounds on Christ´s hands indicate He has already been crucified and has died. The bloodless colour of the limbs and bowed head add to a cadaverous appearance. At His feet, the washbasin, the two nails and the crown of thorns all evoke the recent crucifixion. The an

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