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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

Still Life with Cardoon, Francolin, Grapes and Irises
Oil on canvas. 1628
Ramírez, Felipe
Still Life with Cardoon, Francolin, Grapes and Irises
Oil on canvas. 1628
Ramírez, Felipe

Because this work is signed and dated, it reveals the existence of a painter by the name of Felipe Ramírez, although art historians know virtually nothing else about him. This lovely example of his work makes it clear, however, that he continued the tradition of the variety of still life cultivated by Juan Sánchez Cotán (1560-1627), an artist who is considered the most origina

Still Life with Limes, Box of Jelly, Butterfly and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Limes, Box of Jelly, Butterfly and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Some limes, laid out with the artist's habitual disorder, occupy almost half the canvas. Behind them, a honey pot of the popular green-glazed type from Biar or Lucena shows the painter's eye for detail. In the background, a box of jelly lies open on a castañuela plate. Behind it, a silver or pewter saucer holds a Tonalá type Mexican ceramic cup. The butterfly hovering over it all is interesting fo

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Morales, Luis de
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on panel. Ca. 1545
Morales, Luis de

Christ’s prayer on the Mount of Olives is the gospel episode that precedes his arrest and the beginning of his Passion and death on the cross. After the last supper with his disciples, Jesus withdraws with three of them, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, to the nearby garden of Gethsemane. According to St Luke’s Gospel, he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled

Still Life with Pomegranates and Grapes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1643
Zurbarán, Juan de
Still Life with Pomegranates and Grapes
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1643
Zurbarán, Juan de

Juan de Zurbarán, the son of Francisco, was one of the most original and gifted Spanish still-life painters of the seventeenth century. This work is based on a similar still life by the artist, dated 1643. It reveals Zurbarán’s ability to recreate textures, his masterly use of effects of chiaroscuro and his interest in complex compositions.

Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

On what appears to be a wooden table or ledge we see boiled crabs and shrimp, several freshwater fish (two carp, a roach, possibly several ide, and a northern pike), a dark glass goblet, a brass candlestick with a partially burnt but flameless candle, a copper strainer with a brass skimmer and two artichokes, and a Rhenish stoneware jug. Reflected on its lid is a self-portrait of the artist with a

Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

It has often been stated that this painting is part of a series of four, all now in the Prado, but that is probably not the case. The dimensions of all four paintings (P1619, P1620, P1621, P1622) are similar, but their provenance is not. This, and Table with Cloth, Salt Cellar, Gilt Standing Cup, Pie, Jug, Porcelain Plate with Olives and Cooked Fowl (P1622), are first documented when they were inv

Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1605
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)
Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1605
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)

Series of paintings representing the twelve Apostles, sometimes known as apostolados, were a common sub-genre in the religious painting of the Spanish Siglo de Oro. Such images could be part of altarpieces, and were also often used to decorate the walls of monasteries, convents, and private homes. This painting shows St. John the Evangelist, the author of the last of the four Gospels and the book

Joseph's Cup found in Benjamin's Sack
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1749
Amigoni, Jacopo
Joseph's Cup found in Benjamin's Sack
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1749
Amigoni, Jacopo

Esta obra y su compañera (P05261) forman parte del encargo comenzado en 1748 para la entonces denominada Sala de Conversación, actual Comedor de Gala, del Palacio de Aranjuez. Allí llevó a cabo la decoración de la bóveda en la que representó una alegoría de las virtudes que deben adornar la Monarquía, así como estos dos grandes lienzos con escenas de la vida de José como gobernador virtuoso, que f

Still Life with Apricots, Buns and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Apricots, Buns and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Phalaena
Oil on canvas. 1920
Verger Fioretti, Carlos
Phalaena
Oil on canvas. 1920
Verger Fioretti, Carlos

The term phalaena, a moth with a thin body and broad delicate wings that comes out at night and is fatally attracted to fire, is here associated with the women who offered to escort men at elegant coteries. At the table in the foreground, a mature man observes one of them, who in turn engages the viewer with a troubling expression.

Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul
Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1610
Rubens, Peter Paul; Bril, Paul

On a number of occasions, Peter Paul Rubens partially overpainted finished pictures. He did this to paintings by his own hand, such as Nymphs and Satyrs (P1666), which he retouched and enlarged twenty years after he first painted it. He also made changes to drawings and paintings by other artists that he owned. This painting is an example of such reworking, albeit in a radical mode that changed th

Saint Francis and Two Angels
Oil on canvas. Early Finales del siglo XVI - XVII century
Carracci, Ludovico (Attributed To)
Saint Francis and Two Angels
Oil on canvas. Early Finales del siglo XVI - XVII century
Carracci, Ludovico (Attributed To)

This painting represents a passage from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and is attributed to Ludovico Carracci. Saint Francis appears dressed in a coarse brown habit. He appears kneeling before two angels, one of whom carries a cup and shows it to the saint. The other one bends down to offer a chasuble that the saint seems to reject, a reference to his humility.

Joseph’s Chastity
Oil on canvas. 1655 - 1660
Castillo Saavedra, Antonio del
Joseph’s Chastity
Oil on canvas. 1655 - 1660
Castillo Saavedra, Antonio del

The painting belongs to a series of six paintings on the story of Jacob’s favorite son, Joseph, (P000951, P000952, P000953, P000954, P000955, P000956) by Antonio del Castillo (1616-1668), the leading figure within Baroque painting in Córdoba. Castillo was among the artists to introduce landscape painting into Andalusia, as evident in these scenes in which the natural setting acquires notabl

Bacchic Scene
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Poussin, Nicolas
Bacchic Scene
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Poussin, Nicolas

In a lush, wooded landscape on the banks of a quiet river, a nude woman, sitting on a richly colored red cloak, gestures to two male figures posed beside her. Supporting a glazed jug in her lap, she points to the standing nude boy, who pours wine from a golden ewer into the mouth of a kneeling satyr. Wearing a grapevine belt and a crown, the satyr, a half-man, half-goat creature associated with un

The Rape of Ganymede
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Rape of Ganymede
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

Jupiter was so taken with Ganymede´s beauty that he transformed into an eagle to carry him off to Mount Olympus, where he became his cup-bearer. Rubens drew this story from the classical poet, Ovid´s Metamorphoses (X, 155-161). He depicts the moment when the eagle catches the young shepherd and lifts him into the air. The diagonal composition has a distinctly ascending sense and the lightening bol

The Agony in the Garden
Oil on pine panel. 1514 - 1519
Flandes, Juan de
The Agony in the Garden
Oil on pine panel. 1514 - 1519
Flandes, Juan de

In keeping with the Gospel according to Saint Luke (22: 39-46), Christ, far from the disciples, kneels down with his hands separated and prays to the Father to take away the cup of suffering he must drink, represented by the chalice on the rock. The three apostles who accompany him, Peter, John and James, are asleep. The painting comes from the main altar piece of the church of San Lázaro i

Boys playing Cup-and-Ball
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del
Boys playing Cup-and-Ball
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del

As in the other four cartoons with which it forms a set (P03311 to P03314, P03534), destined for the decoration of the Princess of Asturias’s dressing room at the palace of El Pardo, the artist has chosen a children’s pastime as a decorative motif, in this case the game of cup-and-ball. The perspective, with its markedly low viewpoint, indicates a position over a door.

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