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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

Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1555
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti
Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1555
Tintoretto, Jacopo Robusti

Joseph is a handsome and virtuous slave falsely accused of rape by his master´s wife, whose advances he has rejected. He is imprisoned, but eventually raised to the highest office by Pharaoh (Exodus: 39). Joseph and the Wife of Putiphar and Susannah and the Elders (P386) can be understood as parables of righteousness threatened and preserved, but here -as was usual for artists of the Renaissance a

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.

Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) was the third son of Charles VII of Naples and his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. When his father acceded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he became king of Naples. The sitter wears the Orders of the Golden Fleece and San Gennaro. His childish grace contrasts with the courtly pomp of the setting.

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

Landscape with a Carthusian (Saint Bruno?)
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Swanevelt, Herman Van
Landscape with a Carthusian (Saint Bruno?)
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Swanevelt, Herman Van

The painting entered the Museum holdings as an original work by Jan Both. In 1959 Blunt identifies it as the landscape listed in the 1701 inventory of the Palace of the Buen Retiro and maintains the attribution to Both, as does Roethlisberger (1961). However, Waddingham (1960) ascribes it to Herman van Swanevelt, an attribution backed by Luna (1984) and officially adopted by the Museum in 1985. Th

The Concert
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello
The Concert
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello

Falcone painted the figures in this painting; the Neapolitan specialist Luca Forte probably painted the vase of flowers on the left. It looks like a portrait gallery of real people, one of whom -the bearded man on the right- appears in other paintings by Falcone. The painting comes from the collection of the Duke of Medina de las Torres, viceroy of Naples between 1637 and 1644.

The Embarkation of Saint Paula
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1639
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)
The Embarkation of Saint Paula
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1639
Claude (Lorrain, Byname Of Claude Gellée)

A noble Roman widow and mother of five children, Saint Paula decided to retreat to the desert and abandon her worldly ways in favour of a life of prayer and penitence. In 285 AD she abandoned Rome with her son, Eustace, and moved to Antioch, where she joined Saint Jerome to share a hermit’s life. Claude Lorrain’s painting depicts her departure, offering an imaginary recreation of the port of Ostia

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

Roman Athletes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello
Roman Athletes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1640
Falcone, Aniello

This work belongs to a group from the History of Rome series for the Buen Retiro Palace. Dedicated to depictions of Roman public pastimes, the group includes athletes, gladiators, chariots, animal fights, mock sea battles and so on. Following initial doubts, the Buen Retiro Palace was conceived as a place of leisure, where it would be possible to forget the worries associated with running the mona

Still Life with Oysters, Garlic, Eggs, Pot and Pan
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Oysters, Garlic, Eggs, Pot and Pan
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

This highly original still life presents various oysters in the fore and middle grounds—a relatively infrequent element in Meléndez’s paintings. The foreground is completed by some cloves of garlic and a decorated ceramic plate, probably from Talavera. Behind them, the powerful volume of an enormous copper pot vies for the leading role in this composition. It is tilted, as one edge rests on

Lady and Girl
Oil on panel. 1567
Cronenburch, Adriaen Van
Lady and Girl
Oil on panel. 1567
Cronenburch, Adriaen Van

These four portraits of women, two double ones and two single ones (P02073, P02074 and P02076) presented standing and down to kneelevel, use the same architectural setting. The series is given visual unity by the use of a central niche and two more, barely visible ones at the sides, separated by masonry pillars and decorated with small lions’ heads in the centre.This use of shared elements is prob

Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Mariana of Austria (1634-1696) was the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand III and María of Hungary. It was intended that she marry her cousin, Prince Baltasar Carlos, but following his death she married Philip IV in 1649. Velázquez executed this portrait after his return from Italy. The elaborate clothing, chair and curtain emphasise the sitter`s rank while the table clock alludes to

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

Ferdinand VII in Court Dress
Oil on canvas. 1814 - 1815
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
Ferdinand VII in Court Dress
Oil on canvas. 1814 - 1815
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

Born in 1784 in El Escorial, Fernando VII was Carlos IV eldest son by Maria Luisa. In 1815, after abolishing the Constitution, he reined as an absolute monarch. He appears wearing the symbols of his royal condition, with a purple, ermine-lined robe, and a scepter with the coat of arms of Castile and Leon in his right hand. The sash of the Order of Carlos III crosses his chest, and he also bears th

Charles IV and his Family honoured by the University of Valencia
Oil on canvas. 1802
López Portaña, Vicente
Charles IV and his Family honoured by the University of Valencia
Oil on canvas. 1802
López Portaña, Vicente

During his visit to Valencia in 1802, the Literary University of the city gave the King this painting which shows the university, personified as a young matron, introducing the royal family to the various faculties: Theology, Law, Philosophy and Medicine. They are accompanied by the goddess Minerva, who points to Peace, Victory and Abundance, who fly over this symbolic reception.

View of the Bridge at Martorell
Oil on canvas. 1787
Sánchez, Mariano Ramón
View of the Bridge at Martorell
Oil on canvas. 1787
Sánchez, Mariano Ramón

Trained from childhood at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, Mariano Sánchez specialized in landscapes and views. Contemporary documents reveal also a talent for miniatures and portraits, which took him to Lisbon in the service of the King of Portugal. In 1781, King Charles III commissioned him to paint a series of 118 vistas of ports, bays, islands, and arsenals in Spain. In 1803, for

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