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The Virgin Appears to Saint Bernard
Oil on panel. 1540 - 1545
Correa de Vivar, Juan
The Virgin Appears to Saint Bernard
Oil on panel. 1540 - 1545
Correa de Vivar, Juan

This scene from the life of Saint Bernard depicts the Virgin Mary’s apparition to the Cistercian monk and the miraculous milk he received from her breasts as thanks for his devotion. He is accompanied by his customary iconographic symbols: an abbot’s staff, the bishop’s miter that he rejected, and books alluding to the texts he dedicated to Mary. This work was originally the central panel of one o

Christ in Glory with Saints
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1661
Preti, Mattia
Christ in Glory with Saints
Oil on canvas. 1660 - 1661
Preti, Mattia

A Triumphant Christ appears to a group of saints among whom are Saints Jerome, Francis and Mary Magdalene. It is not known what church this work was painted for, although it is clear that it was meant to be hung at a quite high. Preti was a prolific painter who worked in Rome, Naples and Malta, where he was knighted and where he probably painted this work.

Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1810 - 1813
González Velázquez, Zacarías
Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1810 - 1813
González Velázquez, Zacarías

A member of a dynasty of artists that began with his grandfather, the sculptor Pablo González Velázquez (1664-1727), Zacarías González Velázquez initially trained with his father, the painter Antonio González Velázquez (1723-94). In 1777, he joined the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, an institution to which he remained tied for the rest

The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Anonymous
The Burial of the Count of Orgaz
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1625
Anonymous

This painting is a copy of the lower part of El Greco’s celebrated original on display in the church of Santo Tomé, Toledo. A work of considerable quality, it reveals an interesting variety of pictorial devices: heavily charged brushstrokes in the areas of the chasubles and ruffs, with the pigment dragged and scumbled in other zones such as the Franciscan’s habit. It was formerly in the Jes

The Holy Family with Saint Augustine
Oil on canvas. 1700 - 1740
Viladomat, Antonio
The Holy Family with Saint Augustine
Oil on canvas. 1700 - 1740
Viladomat, Antonio

Using an arrow, symbol of Divine Love, the Christ Child pierces the flaming heart that the kneeling Saint Augustine (354-430), one of the Fathers of the Church, holds out to him in his right hand. The scene is taken from chapter III of Augustine’s Confessions and is depicted in this Catalan artist’s characteristically old fashioned style, evident in the figure types and the use of chiaroscuro.

Saint Dominic presiding over an Auto-da-fe
Oil on panel. 1491 - 1499
Berruguete, Pedro
Saint Dominic presiding over an Auto-da-fe
Oil on panel. 1491 - 1499
Berruguete, Pedro

On a portable rostrum, Saint Dominic and six other judges preside over the auto-da-fe in which some Albigensian heretics are being judged, representing a well-known episode in his biography. Beside him, another figure holds the banner with the floral cross, an attribute of Saint Dominic. Some of the accused are already being burned, while two others, in the foreground, await their turn, wearing th

Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Margaret of Austria married Philip III in 1599 after Philip II chose her from among the women of the Austria-Styria family. The marriage was planned to coincide with that of infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and archduke Albert. Margaret was born in 1584 and when she arrived in Spain in April 1599, she had already been married by power of attorney in Ferrara. She was known for her discretion and virtue

The Extasis of Jean Birelle
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
The Extasis of Jean Birelle
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente

On August 29, 1626, King Philip IV’s painter, Vicente Carducho (ca. 1576-1638), signed a contract for the creation of a cycle of paintings to celebrate the founding of the Carthusian Order by Saint Bruno and its leading members. This colossal undertaking sought to visually narrate numerous episodes from the Carthusians’ history and tradition. It was the most complete commission ever dedicated to t

Auto-da-fé in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid
Oil on canvas. 1683
Rizi, Francisco
Auto-da-fé in the Plaza Mayor of Madrid
Oil on canvas. 1683
Rizi, Francisco

A large auto-da-fé took place in Madrid on 30 June 1680 in the Plaza Mayor, presided over by the young Charles II (reigned 1665-1700) and his mother, Mariana of Austria, who are shown here beneath a canopy. Organised by the Inquisition, autos-da-fé were public ceremonies involving prisoners condemned for crimes against religion. Rizi’s canvas is the finest and most detailed depiction

The Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, future Queen of Hungary
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Villandrando, Rodrigo de
The Infanta Maria Anna of Spain, future Queen of Hungary
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1622
Villandrando, Rodrigo de

Philip IV´s sister, Maria, was born in El Escorial in 1606. As a result of her royal lineage, she was destined to become yet another pawn in the play of matrimonial alliances that the European courts found so useful. As a marriageable infanta, marrying her was first considered a means of improving diplomatic relations with England, but those efforts failed as a result of religious incompatabilites

Portrait of a Knight of the Order of Calatrava
Oil on canvas. 1570 - 1590
Anonymous
Portrait of a Knight of the Order of Calatrava
Oil on canvas. 1570 - 1590
Anonymous

Painted by an anonymous artist, this canvas depicts the upper body of a knight against a neutral background. He insistently stares at the viewer. It may have been at the sitter’s request that the light shines brightly on everything that the painter wished to emphasise: his face, his hands and the accessories that adorn the black satin doublet he wears. The robe, tight-fitting around the torso and

Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVII century
Coello, Claudio
Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on canvas. Second half of the XVII century
Coello, Claudio

Vestido con el típico sayal de los franciscanos, sujeto por el rústico cordón con los tres nudos significativos de los votos de pobreza, castidad y obediencia. De San Antonio conocemos, a través de los escritos de San Bernardino de Siena, que era de aspecto corpulento y bajo de estatura, pero la iconografía habitual prefirió dulcificar su fisonomía e insistir en la amabilidad o gallardía de su per

Woman condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio
Woman condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio

Wearing a penitent´s hood, a woman condemned by the Inquisition rides a burro, receiving the insults of those observing this street scene. Executed with rapid and impasto brushstrokes favors, this work is inspired by scenes of inquisitorial condemnations painted by Goya, who was an exceptional witness to them. Lucas, however, could not have been a direct witness to this type of events as the inqui

The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

This miraculous scene from the life of Saint Ildefonso portrays the moment when the Virgin descended from Heaven to give him a chasuble as a prize for his praises. The choice of this subject corresponds to the Counterreformation policy carried out in Spain, where devotion to Mary was one of its fundamental pillars. The composition is divided into an upper, divine world and a lower, earthly one. Th

Man condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio
Man condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio

Wearing a penitent´s hood, a man condemned by the Inquisition rides a burro, receiving the insults of those observing this street scene. Executed with rapid and impasto brushstrokes favors, this work is inspired by scenes of inquisitorial condemnations painted by Goya, who was an exceptional witness to them. Lucas, however, could not have been a direct witness to this type of events as the inquisi

The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1663
Rizi, Francisco
The Annunciation
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1663
Rizi, Francisco

This painting presents the moment when the Archangel Gabriel, holding a spray of lilies, appears to the Virgin Mary and announces that she will give birth to the Son of God. Mary is depicted kneeling at prayer before an open book resting on a table, at the foot of which sits a sewing basket that alludes to the domestic seclusion in which she lived. The Annunciation proved to be one of the most pop

Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1560
Mor, Anthonis
Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1560
Mor, Anthonis

Joanna of Austria (1535-73) was the daughter of Emperor Charles V, and sister of King Philip II of Spain. In 1552, she married her first cousin, the Portuguese Prince John Manuel (Joao Manuel). The prince died in January 1554, days before Joanna gave birth to their son, Sebastian, who would become King of Portugal from 1568 to 1578. In July 1554, Joanna returned to Spain to serve as regent in the

Saint Ildefonso receiving the Chasuble
Oil on panel. Ca. 1600
Cajés, Eugenio
Saint Ildefonso receiving the Chasuble
Oil on panel. Ca. 1600
Cajés, Eugenio

For more than twenty years Eugenio Cajés was court painter, focusing primarily on the production of religious works executed in a delicate style with soft lines and gentle, impassive faces. This panel may have been part of an altarpiece although its small format also suggests a work intended for private devotion. The detailed brushstroke, delicate lighting and use of a wood panel are all ch

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