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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 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

Glass Vase with Roses and Jasmine
Oil on canvas. 1780 - 1790
Romero, Juan Bautista
Glass Vase with Roses and Jasmine
Oil on canvas. 1780 - 1790
Romero, Juan Bautista

This exquisite floral still life and its companion, Glass Vase with Roses and other Flowers (P7935), stand out for the calculated depiction of their crystal, in which the author displays a skillful treatment of that transparent material. Marking the main lines of each vase with a successful balance of reality and evanescence, he presents them in such a way that they practically disappear in favor

Still Life with Fruit and a Crystal Vase
Oil on panel. 1781
Ferrer, José
Still Life with Fruit and a Crystal Vase
Oil on panel. 1781
Ferrer, José

This still life's subject matter, its mixture of fruit and flowers, its use of glass, earthenware and wicker containers, and its stepped composition, are common characteristics of that genre since its earliest decades in Spain. There are, however, certain differentiating aspects that indicate this work is from an advanced period. That is the case of the type of basket holding the apples and pears,

Glass Vase with Roses and other Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1780 - 1790
Romero, Juan Bautista
Glass Vase with Roses and other Flowers
Oil on canvas. 1780 - 1790
Romero, Juan Bautista

This carefully executed and exquisite floral still life and its companion, Crystal Flower Vase with Roses and jazmins (P7934), stand out for the calculated depiction of their crystal, in which the author displays a skillful treatment of that transparent material. Marking the main lines of each vase with a successful balance of reality and evanescence, he presents them in such a way that they pract

The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1767 - 1769
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
The Immaculate Conception
Oil on canvas. 1767 - 1769
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista

This majestic image was part of a cycle of seven altarpieces commissioned in 1767 for the new royal church of San Pascual Bailón at Aranjuez, founded by Charles III in the same year. The altarpieces comprised the entire pictorial decoration of this Alcantarine Franciscan church, which was built in an austere classical style. The subjects of the altarpieces reflected some of the most importa

Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with Flowers, a Silver-gilt Goblet, Dried Fruit, Sweetmeats, Bread sticks, Wine and a Pewter Pitcher
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

It has often been stated that this painting is part of a series of four, all now in the Prado, but that is probably not the case. The dimensions of all four paintings (P1619, P1620, P1621, P1622) are similar, but their provenance is not. This, and Table with Cloth, Salt Cellar, Gilt Standing Cup, Pie, Jug, Porcelain Plate with Olives and Cooked Fowl (P1622), are first documented when they were inv

Still life with Game: partridge, duck and other birds
Oil on canvas. 1786 - 1787
Nani, Mariano
Still life with Game: partridge, duck and other birds
Oil on canvas. 1786 - 1787
Nani, Mariano

Nani depicts a partridge and a female duck tied to a tree, a thrush and two quails, one of them already plucked and skinned in preparation for cooking. While the birds’ different states refer to various stages in the hunt, the decorative nature of the composition prevails over their realistic appearance. This canvas was commissioned by the heir to the throne, the future Charles IV, for the Royal P

Sabina Seupham Spalding
Oil on canvas. 1846
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de
Sabina Seupham Spalding
Oil on canvas. 1846
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de

This portrait of the wife of the banker Henry O’Shea reveals the British influence on Madrazo’s fully romantic period. Her social position is indicated by the quality of the fabrics, laces and jewels, and by the elegant arrangement of the hands. The books allude to the culture of this lady, who was a friend to the writer Washington Irving.

Still Life with Grapes and Pomegranates
Oil on panel. 1781
Ferrer, José
Still Life with Grapes and Pomegranates
Oil on panel. 1781
Ferrer, José

This still life´s subject matter, with the use of fruit and wicker baskets, and its broken composition are common characteristics of that genre since its earliest decades in Spain. There are, however, certain differentiating aspects that indicate this work is from an advanced period. That is the case of the bluish tone of the background, or the manner in which the fruit is depicted, with a p

Feliciana Bayeu, the Painter's Daughter
Oil on canvas. 1787
Bayeu, Francisco
Feliciana Bayeu, the Painter's Daughter
Oil on canvas. 1787
Bayeu, Francisco

Francisco Bayeu worked as a court painter to Charles III from 1767; by 1787 -the date of this small portrait- he had produced a considerable number of decorations for the royal palaces and important churches. He reached the zenith of his brilliant career as an official painter and academician around this time, being named Director of Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando in 17

Still life with Game: a hare and birds
Oil on canvas. 1786 - 1787
Nani, Mariano
Still life with Game: a hare and birds
Oil on canvas. 1786 - 1787
Nani, Mariano

According to Nani himself, this still life depicts: a “rest during the hunt with a hat on the ground” and the hunter’s bagged game. The dead animals are shown in different states: the hare still bleeding, the partridge already skinned and one of the three partridges plucked. Together, the birds present a realistic vision, albeit one subordinated to the decorative nature of the composition. This ca

Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)
Portrait of King Charles IV as Prince of Asturias
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael (Replica)

Mengs had a profound influence on the younger generation of Spanish painters, notably on the Bayeus, Maella, Inza, Goya and Vicente López Portaña. His Neoclassical style was diametrically opposed to Tiepolo´s, whose style and paintings were falling out of fashion. The Spanish Collections hold many of his portraits. He was a refined and skyfull court painter with exquisite technique,

Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with fish, a candle, artichokes, crab and prawns
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

On what appears to be a wooden table or ledge we see boiled crabs and shrimp, several freshwater fish (two carp, a roach, possibly several ide, and a northern pike), a dark glass goblet, a brass candlestick with a partially burnt but flameless candle, a copper strainer with a brass skimmer and two artichokes, and a Rhenish stoneware jug. Reflected on its lid is a self-portrait of the artist with a

Still Life with a Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara
Still Life with a Sparrow Hawk, Fowl, Porcelain and Shells
Oil on panel. 1611
Peeters, Clara

This painting, together with Still life with Fish, Candle, Artichokes, Crabs and Shrimp, also in the Prado (P1621), is very likely identical to a picture first documented when it was in the Spanish royal collection in Madrid in 1666. The infrared image of the painting reveals some underdrawing in the shells, along the contour of the plate (near the signature), in the beaks of some of the birds and

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

Amalia de Llano y Dotres, Countess of Vilches
Oil on unlined canvas. 1853
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de
Amalia de Llano y Dotres, Countess of Vilches
Oil on unlined canvas. 1853
Madrazo y Kuntz, Federico de

The sitter, a Monarchist writer, an excellent horsewoman and a friend of the artist, is seated in a fine armchair, her figure brightly lit in the shadowy room. This appealing portrait has a decidedly French air, and is clearly influenced by the work of Ingres; it is far removed from the austere restraint of Spanish tradition. Madrazo highlights the sitter’s youth -she was thirty-two at the time- a

Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás
Vase of Flowers with a Triumphal Chariot seen frontally
Oil on canvas. 1643
Hiepes, Tomás

Flower painting quickly became a sub-genre of still life painting in which several Spanish artists became specialists. Hiepes was an assiduous proponent throughout his career and he specialized in flower vases like the present one and its pair (P7913), which look like the work of no other Spanish painter. They are quite large works characterized by their monumentality and symmetry. Instead of seek

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