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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

Still Life with Salmon, Lemon and three Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Salmon, Lemon and three Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

This superb example of the artist's virtuosity at capturing elements with a direct and realistic language can be considered a work from late in his career. A sole lemon in the foreground offsets the group of elements consisting of a slice of fresh salmon and various cooking utensils, including a copper vessel, a pot of the same material and an Alcorcón style jug with a bit of crockery as a lid. A

Still Life with a Maid
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1633
Snyders, Frans
Still Life with a Maid
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1633
Snyders, Frans

This opulent still-life scene typical of the Baroque Flemish school includes a human figure and two animals, as was common in the period, in accordance with the tastes of the clients, whose wealth and prosperity was also reflected in this genre of paintings. Snyders´ clientele were members of the nobility and haute bourgeoisie who were interested in his paintings as testimonies to wealth as well a

The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David
The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David

Of the artists who painted war scenes in the 17th century, none was as interested as David Teniers II in capturing images from behind the lines. With his customary tactile rigor, he depicts a plethora of military objects lying in the foreground with no apparent order and a handful of figures hanging cuirasses or helping their colleagues to remove their footgear. At the same time, he draws on one o

Philip IV
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1628
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This is an extraordinary example of the eventful life of many royal portraits during the Siglo de Oro, and it shows just how much those paintings, rather than immutable artworks, were objects with a representative function and could thus be altered depending on the use they were assigned at any given time. The present bust portrait depicts King Philp IV (1605-1665) in the mid 1620s, when he was ju

Federico Flórez y Márquez
Oil on canvas. 1842
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de
Federico Flórez y Márquez
Oil on canvas. 1842
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de

A full-length portrait of Federico Flórez as a boy, wearing the uniform of the School of Noble Students of Madrid. This work is especially significant in Madrazo´s oeuvre, as it is one of the few examples of a portrait in a landscape. The evocation of Velasquez´s world is combined with the approach of European Romanticism, including a sensationalist lighting that envelops the figure in a cr

Hercules separates Mounts Calpe and Abylla
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de
Hercules separates Mounts Calpe and Abylla
Oil on canvas. 1634
Zurbarán, Francisco de

The Greek hero’s deeds that took place in the Iberian Peninsula, of which this is one, were interpreted as demonstrating his status as mythical forerunner of the Spanish monarchy.Hercules is shown making a great effort at the center of the composition. His legs are spread and gently flexed as he leans forward with bowed head and arms resting on two metal grips bolted to two enormous boulders to he

Boys Playing Chito
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del
Boys Playing Chito
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del

Three boys -two standing and one seated- are playing chito, a game in which metal disks known as tejos are thrown at a piece of carved wood (the chito) resting on the ground with a coin on top of it. The goal is to topple the chito, causing the coin to fall. The player whose tejo is closest to the fallen coin wins.

Saint Eligius before King Chlothar II
Tempera, Gilded on panel. Ca. 1370
Master Of The Madonna Della Misericordia
Saint Eligius before King Chlothar II
Tempera, Gilded on panel. Ca. 1370
Master Of The Madonna Della Misericordia

This is a set of two scenes (P02842, P02841) referring to one of the first known stories of Saint Eloy, a French saint from the late sixth and early seventh century and a great goldsmith who served kings Clotaire II and Dagobert and became Bishop of Rouen. In Saint Eloy before King Clotaire (P02842), the Merovingian king, Clotaire, who knows the saint´s fame and skills as a metal worker, commissio

Naval Battle off a rocky Coast
Oil on panel. 1626 - 1627
Vroom, Hendrick Cornelisz
Naval Battle off a rocky Coast
Oil on panel. 1626 - 1627
Vroom, Hendrick Cornelisz

This painting was listed in the Museum catalogues as an anonymous work from the Dutch school until 1920, although from 1885 onwards it was noted that Bredius ascribes it to Aert Anthonisz. van Antum (ca. 1579/80-1620). The attribution was adopted from the 1936 catalogue onwards. However, Vroom`s signature is perceptible beneath the repainted flag bearing the Burgundy cross which covers the origina

Still Life with Römer, Silver Tazza and Bread Roll
Oil on canvas. 1637
Claesz., Pieter
Still Life with Römer, Silver Tazza and Bread Roll
Oil on canvas. 1637
Claesz., Pieter

This still life forms part of the group of paintings Vroom dubbed monochrome banketjes or monochrome still lifes which were started in 1629 by Willem Claesz. Heda, but which Pieter Claesz. cultivated with equal mastery, to the point that these two painters are considered its leading exponents. The work is dated 1637 and signed with Claesz´s typical monogram and the enigmatic word TÉNESIUS I

Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1494
Bosch, Hieronymus
Triptych of the Adoration of the Magi
Grisaille, Oil on oak panel. Ca. 1494
Bosch, Hieronymus

The theme of this triptych is the advent of salvation -a message about the universality of Redemption. The Eucharistic meaning inherent in the theme of Saint Gregory’s Mass is also found in The Adoration of the Magi in the wheat stored in the upper part of the hut, above the figure of the Antichrist. Unusually, Bosch includes in his depiction of the Mass of Saint Gregory in semi-grisaille seven Pa

Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto
Penitent Magdalene
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Ribera, Jusepe de, lo Spagnoletto

Mary Magdalene is depicted half-length, in a pensive and melancholy mood. She rests her head on a skull that symbolizes the brevity of earthly life. A jar of salve, her characteristic attribute, appears in the foreground. In keeping with traditional iconography, she wears a sackcloth garment against her bare skin and her long hair hangs free. Representations of Mary Magdalene were very popular in

Still Life with Grapes, Apples and Plums
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1630
Espinosa, Juan de
Still Life with Grapes, Apples and Plums
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1630
Espinosa, Juan de

This complex and convincing composition painted from a frontal perspective appears to be divided into two well-connected halves. In the lower half, which is nearer the viewer, the artist has placed a wooden shelf or plank that is chipped in several places, in the manner of a table, on which several elements are skilfully arranged. On the left is a metal plate -silver or pewter on which six masterf

The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1660
Bourdon, Sébastien
The Brazen Serpent
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1660
Bourdon, Sébastien

A depiction of the Old Testament passage (Numbers 21, 4-9) in which God orders Moses to make a bronze snake on a stick. Merely looking at it would cure those repentant sinners who had been punished with snakebites for having spoken against God or Moses. In this scene we see a bearded Moses with a red tunic pointing to the snake. He is surrounded by sick Israelites who beg for forgiveness and heali

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

Lady with the Jewel
Oil on panel. Ca. 1552
Mor, Anthonis
Lady with the Jewel
Oil on panel. Ca. 1552
Mor, Anthonis

In the eighteenth century this unidentified lady was thought to be the Empress Isabel, wife of Carlos V. She was later groundlessly associated with Maria of Portugal, whom Mor portrait in 1552 while she was engaged to Felipe II. The latter broke off the engagement to marry Mary Tudor. This more than half-length portrait is of great technical quality. The feminine face, with its reserved expression

Saint John the Baptist
Oil. Before 1613
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
Saint John the Baptist
Oil. Before 1613
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

Saint John the Baptist in a landscape could be described as an already-known work within Maíno’s oeuvre. Two other versions of this composition have been published, both of which are characterised by the use of an evening light that bathes the gentle hill strategically located in the background that is so characteristic of this artist’s work, as is the inclusion of plants and shrubs, rushin

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