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Diana and her Nymphs surprised by Satyrs
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and her Nymphs surprised by Satyrs
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Rubens, Peter Paul

Diana the huntress is resting with her court of Nymphs in a clearing in the woods when she is attacked by a group of Satyrs. Rubens turned this painting into a virtuoso exercise in composition. In the foreground, two volumes lead to the rest of the scene: on the left are the hunting trophies attained by the nymphs, and on the right, a reclining nymph with her back to the viewer, one of the most se

Deucalion and Pyrrha
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Deucalion and Pyrrha
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Humanity´s rebirth after the flood is represented in Greek mythology through the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. After surviving the disaster, they threw stones over their shoulders, each of which became a new being. This story is told by the classical poet, Ovid, in his Metamorphoses. This painting is a sketch by Rubens for a painting —now lost— by Jan Cossiers for the Torre de la Parada. Rubens w

Diana and her Nymphs hunting
Oil on oak panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and her Nymphs hunting
Oil on oak panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Recognizable by the crescent-moon-shaped diadem on her head, Diana hunts deer with spears and dogs, accompanied by various nymphs. The extremely horizontal composition is one of the peculiarities of this work, which belongs to an important sect of sketches made by Rubens for the pictorial decoration of the Torre de la Parada. On these small panels, the painter defined the design, colors, forms and

Fortune
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)
Fortune
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul (And Workshop)

In the autumn of 1636, Peter Paul Rubens was commissioned by agents of Philip IV to produce his largest series of painted canvases to decorate the recently completed hunting lodge at El Pardo, near Madrid -the Torre de la Parada. Documents reveal that he was already at work by December. His main assignment comprised some sixty mythological subjects and individual figures, chiefly drawn from Ovid´s

The Sense of Hearing
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Hearing
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the elder.” Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed i

The Three Graces
Oil on oak panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Three Graces
Oil on oak panel. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Graces were minor deities but in this splendid work Peter Paul Rubens devotes his best effort to them. The three goddesses embrace each other forming a circle. The positioning of their feet suggests movement; they seem to dance gently. The setting is as luscious as the nude bodies of the goddesses. A field illuminated by sunlight filtered through dense trees stretches to a distant blue. The sh

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

Nymphs and Satyrs
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul
Nymphs and Satyrs
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1615
Rubens, Peter Paul

In this picture, the setting epitomises the classical concept of a Locus amoenus ("pleasant place") which developed from the time of Homer and referred to an ideal place for sensual being, with flowing water that impregnates the land and shade provided by trees. Socrates describes such a place in Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus. Rubens’s Locus amoenus is recreated with such conviction that it makes me t

The Rape of Proserpine
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul -Painter- (And Workshop)
The Rape of Proserpine
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul -Painter- (And Workshop)

Proserpine, daughter of the earth goddess Ceres, was kidnapped by Pluto, the god of the underworld. Despite the resistance put up by Minerva, Venus and Diana, their relationship would blossom into love, as revealed by the presence of the cupids holding the chariot reigns and urging the horses on. This story of passion was part of the decoration of the Torre de la Parada.

Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and Callisto
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

When Rubens visited the Spanish court in Madrid from late August 1628 until April 1629, he copied many of the numerous paintings by Titian in the royal collection. He was seduced by the radical technique of broken brushstrokes characteristic of the late works of the Venetian, which inspired his own way of painting from this time until his death in 1640. He must also have been drawn by the emotiona

The Sense of Sight
Oil on panel. 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Sight
Oil on panel. 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”. Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed in Flemish painting. Sight was consider

Three Nymphs with a Cornucopia
Oil on canvas. 1615 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Snyders, Frans
Three Nymphs with a Cornucopia
Oil on canvas. 1615 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul; Snyders, Frans

On Rubens’s death in May 1640, the largest collection of his works aside from his own (he was an important art collector and also retained many of his own creations) was that of King Philip IV of Spain. Philip’s attention had primarily been drawn to Rubens by his aunt, Isabel Clara Eugenia. It should be borne in mind that when the young king embarked on his reign in 1621, only a few works by the a

Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques
Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques

As punishment for the vanity of Cassiopeia, who thought herself more beautiful than the Neriads, Poseidon, god of the seas, sent a monster to the kingdom of Ethiopia. Its fury could only be detained if it received Cassiopeia´s daughter, Andromeda. This painting illustrates the moment when Perseus frees Andromeda from her bounds. He is in love with her, as is made clear by the presence of Cupid wit

The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Judgement of Paris
Oil on panel. 1606 - 1608
Rubens, Peter Paul

As Homer tells it in The Iliad, Paris the shepherd, son of Priam, had to decide with of the three goddesses —Juno, Venus or Minerva— was the most beautiful, and give her the golden apple Mercury he had received from Mercury. On the left, Paris appears to be meditating, with the apple still in his hands. His attention is focused on Venus, in the middle of the composition. Minerva´s weapons are visi

The Sense of Smell
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Smell
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”. Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed i

The Sense of Touch
Oil on panel. 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Sense of Touch
Oil on panel. 1618
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, Hearing, Smell, Taste, Touch) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”. Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed i

Adam and Eve
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul
Adam and Eve
Oil on canvas. 1628 - 1629
Rubens, Peter Paul

Eve accepts the forbidden fruit from the hands of the devil, who is half child and half serpent. Sitting on the roots of the tree of Good and Bad, Adam tries to stop her. This is a copy of a painting on the same subject that Titian made for Felipe II (P00429). Rubens saw it during his trip to Spain in 1628 and 1629. In keeping with his own concept of painting, he made significant changes with resp

The Judgement of Paris
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Judgement of Paris
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1638
Rubens, Peter Paul

The mythological story of the Judgment of Paris begins with the wedding of Thetis and Peleus, where Eris, goddess of Discord, challenged the most beautiful goddesses to take a golden apple which she threw among the guests. Juno, Minerva and Venus started to argue and Jupiter decided to give the apple to Mercury and let Paris be the judge of this dispute. This judgment is told by the Roman poet Ovi

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