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The Penintent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Penintent Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

Jerome meditates before a crucifix in the solitude of his retreat. The numerous objects depicted around him refer to different aspects of his life. The books, papers and writing equipment allude to his celebrated intellectual activities, the skull to his acts of penitence, and the red hat to his status as a cardinal.

Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
Saint John the Evangelist in Patmos
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

Saint Mark
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco
Saint Mark
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco

Sketches for the pendentives of the dome of the collegiate church at La Granja (Segovia). With this decoration Bayeu continued the project begun by Giambattista Tiepolo, who died in 1770, imbuing the compositions with the harmony, solidity and clarity he learnt while training under Mengs. Three of the evangelists are shown writing, inspired by angels, while Saint Luke, patron of painters, holds an

Cardinal Juan Everardo Nithard
Oil on canvas. 1674
Arco, Alonso del
Cardinal Juan Everardo Nithard
Oil on canvas. 1674
Arco, Alonso del

Born to an Austrian Catholic family, Juan Everardo Nithard (Falkenstein, 1607-Rome, 1681)became a Jesuit. His solid grounding in theology led Emperor Ferdinand III to appoint him confessor to his children, Leopold and Mariana, and when the latter married Philip IV, he accompanied her to Madrid in the same role. Widowed, Mariana became reagent for her son, Charles, until he came of age, and during

Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1656 - 1657
Valdés Leal, Juan de
Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1656 - 1657
Valdés Leal, Juan de

Large series of paintings for religious orders were painted throughout the seventeenth century. They include free-standing figures of saints and scenes with more complex compositions. That is the case of the present work, which belongs to a series of saints made around 1657 by Valdés Leal for the Sacristy of the Convent of San Jerónimo in Seville. The series was scattered in the nine

The Pentecost
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
The Pentecost
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1870
Ferrant, Alejandro
Portrait of a Gentleman
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1870
Ferrant, Alejandro

Holding his spectacles in his right hand, the subject of this portrait gazes at the viewer. He has momentarily left the composition he is working on, which is dated 1844 and is partially legible. It is precisely this element that enabled the subject to be identified as Urbano Aspa (C. Díaz Pascual 2015), a composer of religious music who was also a close friend of the painter’s family. In t

Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

After the death of Philip IV in 1665, his widow Mariana (1634-1696) became regent. She is depicted here as both widow and regent in the Hall of Mirrors in the Alcázar in Madrid. The writing implements on the desk allude to her responsibilities as ruler. The overt inclusion of the royal palace into the royal portrait is one of the features that characterises the court portrait after Vel&aacu

Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

Philip II’s two daughters Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566-1633) and Catalina Micaela (1567-1597), were repeatedly portrayed from the time they were very small by Alonso Sánchez Coello, one of the king’s court painters. Those likenesses had the characteristics of court portraits, reflecting not only the sitters’ features and their royal context, but also the type of society and state being depict

Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco
Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco

Sketches for the pendentives of the dome of the collegiate church at La Granja (Segovia). With this decoration Bayeu continued the project begun by Giambattista Tiepolo, who died in 1770, imbuing the compositions with the harmony, solidity and clarity he learnt while training under Mengs. Three of the evangelists are shown writing, inspired by angels, while Saint Luke, patron of painters, holds an

Magistrate with Crucifix
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1600
Bassano, Leandro
Magistrate with Crucifix
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1600
Bassano, Leandro

In 1648 Carlo Ridolfi began his biography of Leandro Bassano by praising his talent as a portraitist (particolarmente eccellente ne`ritratti). This skill was generously acknowledged during his lifetime and led him to be ennobled in 1595 for his Portrait of Doge Marino Griman (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie). Initially close to the style of Jacopo Tintoretto, Leandro developed under the influence of

Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1643
Pereda y Salgado, Antonio de
Saint Jerome
Oil on canvas. 1643
Pereda y Salgado, Antonio de

Saint Jerome is depicted meditating on the Last Judgment, as indicated by the print in the book, which reproduces a model by Albrecht Dürer. He is surrounded by various vanitas, such as the skull resting on some books and the stone with which he struck his chest. A pen and inkwell indicate his dedication to writing. Jerome was one of the most popular Saints in baroque Spain. His iconography m

Saint Matthew
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco
Saint Matthew
Oil on canvas. 1771
Bayeu, Francisco

Sketches for the pendentives of the dome of the collegiate church at La Granja (Segovia). With this decoration Bayeu continued the project begun by Giambattista Tiepolo, who died in 1770, imbuing the compositions with the harmony, solidity and clarity he learnt while training under Mengs. Three of the evangelists are shown writing, inspired by angels, whileSaint Luke, patron of painters, holds an

A Philosopher
Oil on panel. 1635
Koninck, Salomon
A Philosopher
Oil on panel. 1635
Koninck, Salomon

This painting enters the Museum as the work of Salomon Koninck, an attribution which remains valid until the 1963 catalogue, when, according to Valdivieso (1973), a proposal by Clotilde Brière-Misme and Horst Gerson cause it to be attributed to Abraham van den Hecken (active 1635-1655).However, despite the harsh modelling of the facial features, the compositional arrangement and, above all,

Giovanni Battista Caselli, Poet from Cremona
Oil on canvas. 1557 - 1558
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Giovanni Battista Caselli, Poet from Cremona
Oil on canvas. 1557 - 1558
Anguissola, Sofonisba

The identification of this elderly gentleman sitting at a desk in his study is borne out by the inscription on the fore edge of the book he is writing in, which displays the words "rime del casellio". Giovanni Battista Caselli was a poet and medal engraver who enjoyed certain prominence in Cremona during his lifetime, though there is little reliable information about him today. Nevertheless, Casel

Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1624
Ribalta, Juan
Saint John the Evangelist
Oil on canvas. 1618 - 1624
Ribalta, Juan

Juan Ribalta was a highly talented and precocious artist who trained with his father, Francisco Ribalta, the most important painter of his day in Valencia. Juan’s work differs from that of his father primarily in his use of pronounced, short brushstrokes. In this monumental depiction of Saint John the Evangelist the saint seems to be seeking inspiration as he pauses while writing his sacred text.

Silver writing desk
Metal plating. Ca. 1847
Real Fábrica de Platería de Antonio Martínez
Silver writing desk
Metal plating. Ca. 1847
Real Fábrica de Platería de Antonio Martínez

In May 1847, Don José de Madrazo, director of the Royal Museum of Painting and Sculpture –now the Prado Museum–, acquired this silver writing desk for his office for 320 réis. It is made of silver plaqué, a technique consisting of soldering thin sheets of silver on a thick copper sheet, thus reducing the cost. The tray carrying the inkwell, the pin container and the pounce bea

Writing desk
Metal plating. Ca. 1847
Real Fábrica de Platería de Antonio Martínez
Writing desk
Metal plating. Ca. 1847
Real Fábrica de Platería de Antonio Martínez

Escribanía de forma cuadrilonga con bichas fantásticas en los ángulos, las armas reales en el centro en un escudo sostenido por puttis y fajas o tirantes laterales decorados con una máscara, de cuya boca salen flores y frutos. La pieza conserva aún el contraste cromático entre el gris de la plata y el dorado del escudo y las máscaras. Todo ello de estilo clasicista, de gusto manierista, aunque en

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