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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

In the Studio
Oil on panel. Ca. 1880
Palmaroli y González, Vicente
In the Studio
Oil on panel. Ca. 1880
Palmaroli y González, Vicente

A young woman seems to gaze dreamily at a canvas on an easel, over which a large cloth has been partially draped, and at a sheaf of prints on a stool. The Japanesestyle clothes, the bright colours and the cluttered scene - highly decorative in effect- clearly point to the influence of Fortuny’s orientalism on Palmorali’s work.

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.

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

The Crucifixion
Mixed method on panel. Ca. 1460
Sánchez, Juan
The Crucifixion
Mixed method on panel. Ca. 1460
Sánchez, Juan

This painter from Burgos represents the transition from the international Gothic style in which he was formed to the hispano-flemish style, whose models he adapts with his personal manner. The three figures -Christ, the Virgin and Saint John- are so large that they occupy the entire foreground. Very carefully painted, it was made as an independent work. The extensive use of gold, which has been ap

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

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

Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Penitent Magdalen
Oil on canvas. 1641
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Traditionally identified as the woman who was a sinner and wept on Christ’s feet and wiped away her tears with her hair (Luke 7:36-50), Mary Magdalene is shown here as the hermit saint she became upon giving up her life of moral decadence, after her encounter with the Savior. She kneels in prayer at the entrance to her cave and raises her eyes to heaven, eyes that are perhaps disproportionately la

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

Allegory of Fame
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1775
Castillo, José del
Allegory of Fame
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1775
Castillo, José del

This singular composition, which can be dated 1775, was painted at the height of the 18th century, although, in aesthetic terms, the Baroque was already in decline as it entered its final phase. Its decorative conception echoes the refinement of the rococo, although it draws much of its material from the anaglyphic repertory of the mature Renaissance—conveniently polished—when artists were recover

Table
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1650
Benedetti, Andries
Table
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1650
Benedetti, Andries

On a table partially covered by a green tablecloth, the painter has placed a white cloth, delicate gold-worked jars and glasses that reflect the light, a dish with ham, bread and a large basket of peaches and several types of grapes. There is also a half-peeled lemon, typical of Nordic still-lifes. In the background, there is a large red curtain and a gallery with columns. Charged with symbolic an

Mrs Delicado de Imaz
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1836
López Portaña, Vicente
Mrs Delicado de Imaz
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1836
López Portaña, Vicente

The lady depicted here, around 50 years of age, is represented slightly greater than half-length, seated on a chair upholstered in green cloth, with a striking cashmere shawl of vivid colours lying on one of its arms. She is wearing a dark blue velvet dress with a lace mantilla covering her shoulders. Richly bejewelled, she wears a magnificent bracelet and a ring on her right hand, in which she is

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