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The Painter's Family
Oil on canvas. 1621 - 1622
Jordaens, Jacques
The Painter's Family
Oil on canvas. 1621 - 1622
Jordaens, Jacques

This attractive group portrait, one of the most interesting of the 17th-century Dutch school on account of its bourgeois spirit with aristocratic leanings, is an extraordinary skilful depiction of the artist´s close family. Jordaens portrays himself with his wife Catharina van Noort and their first child Elizabeth, born on 26 June 1617, whose age allows us to date the work approximately. Cat

Earthly Paradise
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1626
Brueghel el Joven, Pieter
Earthly Paradise
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1626
Brueghel el Joven, Pieter

En esta obra el pintor pone en escena una multitud de aves cantoras. Éstas se posan en las ramas de un árbol que, en acusada diagonal, separa la llanura del bosque; recurso típico de las composiciones de conciertos y alegorías del aire de Brueghel. A escala diminuta, en un claro entre la maleza, se reproduce la tentación de Adán y Eva; un caballo, parejas de cuadrúpedos, tigres, ciervos, dromedari

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

Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Abundance, personified by Ceres, goddess of fertility and agriculture, sits in front of a thicket of reeds at the edge of a forest. She has adorned her hair with wheat spikes -her attribute- and bears the horn of plenty under her left arm. Earth sits at her feet, offering her one of her fruits, she is personified by Flora, goddess of the earth and also of spring, which explains the flowers in her

Garland with the Virgin and Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1621
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Garland with the Virgin and Child
Oil on panel. Ca. 1621
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

An elaborate garland of flowers, fruit and animals frames a painting representing the Virgin Mary with the Christ Chile on her right arm and a crown of flowers in her left hand. Paintings of the Virgin framed with garlands were prized in the Flemish world, where they served as a response to the Protestant Reform that negated the validity of representations of the Virgin or of saints. Brueghel resp

Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1646
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Saint Francis Preaching to the Birds
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1646
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

In 1724, Antonio Palomino, who had been Juan Carreño de Miranda’s disciple, included his teacher’s biography in his Parnaso español pintoresco y laureado. Their close relationship makes that text a highly informative source of first-hand information. Palomino wrote: Two other works by his hand (though early) are the paintings on the facing side walls of the church of El Caballero de

Cybele and the Seasons within a Garland of Fruit
Oil on panel. 1615 - 1618
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Cybele and the Seasons within a Garland of Fruit
Oil on panel. 1615 - 1618
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Two nymphs and numerous cupids hold a garland that frames a medallion where an offering to Ceres is depicted. The goddess of the Earth and of agriculture is shown being crowned by Spring while allegorical figures of the other seasons offer her their fruits. The cupids hold objects alluding to the signs of the Zodiac. Thus, the passage of time and the Earth´s life cycles are emphasized. This work i

Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1771
Mengs, Anton Raphael

In portraits of female subjects, Anton Rafael Mengs displays a warm and gentle quality, more Rococo in tone than the slightly academic coldness marking his historical and mythological compositions. The eldest daughter of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany and a granddaughter of Charles III, the Archduchess María Teresa Habsburg-Lorena is shown here at full length, next to a caged parrot. Her dress,

Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de
Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de

In this painting, Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility, is surrounded by fruits and flowers, pictured as the personification of Abundance holding the horn of plenty in her hands. The history of the horn of plenty is taken from two texts by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE-CE 17/18), Metamorphoses (IX, 80-100) and Book of Days (V, 121-24). The idea of prosperity is completed by the personificatio

Abundance
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1625
Brueghel The Younger, Jan
Abundance
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1625
Brueghel The Younger, Jan

This type of allegorical representations of abundance or fecundity was very popular among cabinet paintings from this period. Artists such as Rubens, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Hendrick de Clerck and Hendrick van Balen, among others, also made such works, often in collaboration. Here, fertility is represented by a six-breasted figure at the center of the composition. She bears a horn of plenty and is

Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. XVII century
Brueghel The Younger, Jan
Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. XVII century
Brueghel The Younger, Jan

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 Virgin and Child in a Painting surrounded by Fruit and Flowers
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1620
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
The Virgin and Child in a Painting surrounded by Fruit and Flowers
Oil on panel. 1617 - 1620
Rubens, Peter Paul; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Jan Brueghel’s compositions with garlands surrounding holy figures were a reaction against Protestant ideas that refuted the cult of images. In the centre of the composition is a painted image of the Virgin, which hangs from the garland. The figures of Mary and the Christ Child were painted by Rubens.

Charon crossing the Styx
Oil on panel. 1520 - 1524
Patinir, Joachim
Charon crossing the Styx
Oil on panel. 1520 - 1524
Patinir, Joachim

In addition to the originality of its subject, this painting by Patinir is also remarkable for its unusual composition within Patinir`s oeuvre. The artist has divided the space vertically into three zones, one on either side and the third occupied by the broad river in the centre, on whose opaque and mirror-like surface Charon steers his boat. For the iconography of this subject, Patinir draws tog

Charles III as a Boy in his Study
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1724
Ranc, Jean
Charles III as a Boy in his Study
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1724
Ranc, Jean

Dressed in blue, a Bourbon colour, Charles wears the Golden Fleece and the Order of the Saint-Esprit. The lily is a dynastic emblem while the jasmine, anemones, narcissi, pinks and roses are attributes of virtues and pleasures. Together with the book containing verses by Lucian, Columella and Virgil (his Eclogue IV on a new Golden Age), these objects are used to present Charles in his transition f

Rafaela Flores Calderón
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1842
Esquivel, Antonio María
Rafaela Flores Calderón
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1842
Esquivel, Antonio María

The portrait of Rafaela Flores Calderón is part of an anthology of Spanish Romantic child portraits. Rafaela leans on a large empty cage while a gray parrot perches on her left hand. In the background a flower garden has a pedestal topped by a large vase on the right. Notable here is the painter´s special sensitivity at capturing the model´s natural elegance, which recalls English child por

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 Four Parts of the World. America
Oil on copperplate. 1660
Kessel el Viejo, Jan Van
The Four Parts of the World. America
Oil on copperplate. 1660
Kessel el Viejo, Jan Van

The Four Parts of the World, that is, the continents known at that time -Europe, Asia, Africa and America -became a very popular subject, as it was totally in keeping with that period’s interest in science. It therefore seems likely that these works may have been commissioned for the sort of cabinet of wonders (Wunderkammer) then fashionable among collectors. What seems unquestionable is that its

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