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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

Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Saint Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

The thin naked torso, the cloth made from rushes, the skull and the book suggest that the figure in the painting is a hermit; the bread crust in the foreground tells us that it is Saint Paul, the first hermit, who was brought half a loaf of bread every day by a raven.

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
The Adoration of the Shepherds
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

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

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

The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1794
Maella, Mariano Salvador
The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1794
Maella, Mariano Salvador

Preparatory sketch for a work possibly intended for the private chapel of the Infante Don Antonio Pascual in the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The composition is very similar to the Last Supper in the Royal Palace of Madrid painted by Maella in 1794.

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

Cats fighting in a Larder
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1640
Vos, Paul de
Cats fighting in a Larder
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1640
Vos, Paul de

With the owners or house servants away, the animals sneak into the larder, giving free rein to their instincts. This leads to a fight. Scenes of animal fights in domestic settings were customary in mid-seventeenth-century Flemish painting. They were also frequent in the literature of proverbs, where they were interpreted as moral allusions to the abandonment of responsibilities and their consequen

Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Luis Meléndez distinguished himself as the greatest bodegón, or still-life, painter in late eighteenth-century Spain. By this time, the popularity of the genre had declined in Spain and was not practiced by any of Meléndez’ contemporaries at court. Even so, Meléndez painted over one hundred bodegones in his lifetime, leading art historians to infer that he took a person

Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables
Oil on canvas. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der
Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables
Oil on canvas. 1625
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der

Juan van der Hamen y León attained notable fame as a painter of still lifes in the court in Madrid. His early death in 1631 explains the concentration of his works from the 1620s, a brief period that nevertheless offers an interesting evolution in the typologies of his paintings, suggesting that he was open to incorporating aspects of other artists´ work. Still life with fruits and vegetabl

Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1586
Bassano, Francesco
Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1586
Bassano, Francesco

Although Bettini noted a number of paternal precedents for this painting, it is a personal interpretation by Francesco of the gospel passage. Three versions are known, of which the Prado painting is the last. The first, dated about 1585, was auctioned by Sotheby´s of Florence in 1984, and there is a preparatory drawing of the figures of the elderly man with a bear and the page on the left (V

Saint Benedict blessing the Bread
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Rizi, Juan Andrés
Saint Benedict blessing the Bread
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Rizi, Juan Andrés

A member of a leading family of Madrid painters, Juan Rizi entered the Benedictine Order. Most of his worksdepict subjects related to the Order such as its saints and illustrious members. This canvas depicts one of Saint Benedict’s miracles and has a clearly Eucharistic content. It was painted for the Monastery of San Juan Bautista in Burgos.

Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. 1651
Anonymous
Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. 1651
Anonymous

This attractive and singular mid-17th-century Spanish still life was originally thought to be by Antonio de Pereda, due to its similarity to two canvases at the Museo de Arte Antiga in Lisbon, which he signed and dated in 1651. However, notwithstanding its approximate resemblance to Pereda’s creations, a convincing attribution has yet to be encountered. Foodstuffs and utensils are scattered in com

February. Winter still life
Oil on canvas. 1640
Barrera, Francisco
February. Winter still life
Oil on canvas. 1640
Barrera, Francisco

The inscription, February, indicates that this still life belongs to a series on the twelve months of the year, of which at least five others have been located. Each depicts foodstuffs, floral elements or landscapes from its corresponding month. Here, hunting game is the predominant theme, especially birds, and there is also an interesting allusion to chocolate. While the latter was drunk for most

The Poultry Vendor
Oil on canvas. 1626
Loarte, Alejandro de
The Poultry Vendor
Oil on canvas. 1626
Loarte, Alejandro de

This is Loarte’s most ambitious work among his still lifes. A depiction of a market stall in the Plaza de Zocodover in Toledo, it marks the end of a career cut short by the artist’s early death. Brushwork, colour and lighting are used to create a composition of notable visual impact, of which another version of the same date is known.

The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Tristán, Luis
The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Tristán, Luis

This canvas depicts the moment when Christ blesses the bread and institutes the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The figures resemble those of El Greco, Tristán’s first master, but the colour and precise depiction of the foodstuffs on the table reveal a different aesthetic. By incorporating a still-life motif the artist makes use of one of the most innovative artistic genres of the seventeenth c

Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Cerezo, Mateo
Kitchen Still Life
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Cerezo, Mateo

A profusion of cooking utensils and hearty meats -game birds fresh from the hunt and not yet dressed, a recently-killed lamb, a calf’s head, and other cuts- are laid out on a work surface, as if the painter had found them thus in a kitchen, awaiting the preparation of a meal. The apparent disorderly informality of the painting’s composition gives it an air of immediacy and lifelikeness, but is in

Autumn
Oil on canvas. 1805 - 1806
Maella, Mariano Salvador
Autumn
Oil on canvas. 1805 - 1806
Maella, Mariano Salvador

Bacchus, the god of wine, is the figure traditionally associated with Autumn. Accompanied here by a satyr with a wineskin, he leans on a barrel and raises a goblet of wine in a pose inspired by the classical marble statue of the Resting Satyr -then in La Granja palace and now in the Prado- after an original by Praxiteles. In the background several companions carry a drunken Silenus.

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