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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 a silver beaker and a clock
Oil on panel. 1633
Heda, Willem Claesz
Still Life with a silver beaker and a clock
Oil on panel. 1633
Heda, Willem Claesz

In addition to the Roemer goblet, other glasses common in this kind of monochrome still life presented here include the Berkemeyer, in this case tipped over and broken, and the delicate Façon-de-Venise wineglass, in fashion at the time and likewise made in the Netherlands. Also featured is an exquisitely decorated silver goblet. Alongside them is a knife with a sheath and an open clock that

Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Sobre una tosca mesa de madera, descrita táctilmente con los pequeños detalles de la calidad del material, visibles en nudos y muescas, aparecen desordenadamente situadas unas cuantas “peritas de San Juan” y un pan en segundo término, junto al cual se eleva una alcarraza de loza muy blanca que bien pudiera ser andaluza. Se denomina popularmente “jarra de cuatro picos” y muestra una decoración de i

Smokers and Drinkers
Oil on panel. 1652
Teniers The Younger, David
Smokers and Drinkers
Oil on panel. 1652
Teniers The Younger, David

Three figures enjoy tobacco in an expressive manner in the foreground while an onlooker leans through the window. Around a table in the background, another group of figures drinks or plays cards. This is an example of scenes inside taverns with smokers, drinkers and players, which Teniers made during the sixteen thirties. He began with figures by his teacher, Adriaen Brouwer (1605/1606-1638), whic

Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero
Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero

The scene, with a distinctly genre flavour, depicts a passage from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The main figure, wearing armour, kneels awaiting to be dubbed a knight; the amusing folk setting around him is far removed from the ceremonial splendour implied by such an event.

Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Oil on panel. 1470 - 1472
Memling, Hans
Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Oil on panel. 1470 - 1472
Memling, Hans

Comprising three panels, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation in the Temple, this painting is earlier than the triptych on the same subject painted by Memling for Jan Floreins in 1479. It is clearly influenced by Van der Weyden, as are other works by the artist. In this work, the unified space represented in the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi is noteworthy. It was a

The Supper at Emmaus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Supper at Emmaus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

Two pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem meet a traveler, whom the invite to dinner. When their unknown guest blesses the bread on the table, they recognize that he is Christ resurrected. This story is taken from the Gospel of Luke (24, 13-55). The painter sets the scene in a space that is open to an architectural landscape, with a fortress and a Baroque building out of which a figure is leaning. 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 Birth of the Virgin. The Annunciation. The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. Before 1550
Coxcie, Michiel
The Birth of the Virgin. The Annunciation. The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on panel. Before 1550
Coxcie, Michiel

This triptych was made for the cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudule in Brussels and later sold "to Spain for a very high price" according to Carel van Mander (1604). Philip II donated it to El Escorial in 1586. A fine Romanist, Coxcie remained faithful to what he had learned in Italy: the old lady reading in The Nativity is a copy of the Persian Sybil that Michelangelo painted in the dome of the

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

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

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

Dance on the Banks of the Manzanares
Oil on canvas. XVIII century
Bayeu y Subías, Ramón
Dance on the Banks of the Manzanares
Oil on canvas. XVIII century
Bayeu y Subías, Ramón

Still Life with Römer, Silver Tazza and Bread Roll
Oil on canvas. 1637
Claesz., Pieter
Still Life with Römer, Silver Tazza and Bread Roll
Oil on canvas. 1637
Claesz., Pieter

This still life forms part of the group of paintings Vroom dubbed monochrome banketjes or monochrome still lifes which were started in 1629 by Willem Claesz. Heda, but which Pieter Claesz. cultivated with equal mastery, to the point that these two painters are considered its leading exponents. The work is dated 1637 and signed with Claesz´s typical monogram and the enigmatic word TÉNESIUS I

A Square in Paris
Oil on canvas. 1887
Meifrén Roig, Eliseo
A Square in Paris
Oil on canvas. 1887
Meifrén Roig, Eliseo

This is one of Meifrén’s views of Paris, where he spent various periods from the late 1870s onwards. It depicts a café on the Place de Clichy near Montmartre. It predates the depictions of such subjects by other Catalan artists including Santiago Rusiñol and Ramón Casas, while the truncated, angled position of the table in the foreground reveals the influence of the rec

Don Quixote at the Inn
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero
Don Quixote at the Inn
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero

This work belongs to a series inspired by passages from Don Quixote portrayed with the same satirical humour as in Cervantes´text. The famous knight, seated at a table, is served by innkeepers in a parody of what would have been a court ceremony. Similarities have been pointed out with paintings of this type executed by the Madrid-based French artist Michel-Ange Houasse (1680-1730).

Country Celebration
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1650
Teniers The Younger, David
Country Celebration
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1650
Teniers The Younger, David

Peasants or villagers hold a feast in front of a tavern or inn, recognizable by its red flag. They drink, eat and dance to the music of a bagpiper standing on a barrel. On the left, various distinguished personages, who stand out because of their different clothing, look on with a combination of curiosity and indifference. A large church in the background indicates there is a town nearby. On the b

The King drinks
Oil on copperplate. 1650 - 1660
Teniers The Younger, David
The King drinks
Oil on copperplate. 1650 - 1660
Teniers The Younger, David

This work depicts the feast of Epiphany, as can be seen by the crown on the central figure, whose paintings show an Adoration of the Magi. According to Flemish folk tradition, in this feast, the king of the celebration is chosen by chance, being the one who finds a bean in his cake. Other Flemish artists, such as Jordaens, depicted this celebration in the same way, reflecting its most festive mome

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