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Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1673
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II
Oil on canvas. 1673
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Charles II stands in the Alcázar Palace’s Hall of Mirrors, alongside a porphyry table held up by two of Mateo Bonuccelli’s gilded bronze lions. The monarch is dressed in black silk, as was cutomary in royal portraits of the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty since the time of Philip II. He wears the Golden Fleece on a necklace and has a sword on his belt. He holds a folded report in his

Charles II as a child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1675
Carreño de Miranda, Juan (Attributed To)
Charles II as a child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1675
Carreño de Miranda, Juan (Attributed To)

Charles II stands in the Alcázar Palace’s Hall of Mirrors alongside a porphyry table held up by two of Mateo Bonuccelli’s gilded bronze lions. The monarch is dressed in black silk, as was customary in royal portraits of the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty since the time of Philip II. He wears the Golden Fleece on a necklace and has a sword on his belt. He holds a folded report in his

Boy in a Toga
Marble, Porphyry, Travertine. XVII century
Anonymous
Boy in a Toga
Marble, Porphyry, Travertine. XVII century
Anonymous

Since the Renaissance, the poses and clothing of sculptural models from classical Antiquity were reinterpreted for decorative purposes. This example interprets sculptures of young rulers making use of the colours of the materials to achieve a greater sense of richness and reality.

Sacred Love defeating Profane Love
Porphyry. Ca. 1630
Fedele, Tomaso
Sacred Love defeating Profane Love
Porphyry. Ca. 1630
Fedele, Tomaso

This scene is notable for the technical difficulty involved in carving porphyry. It depicts two cherubs, one of whom represents Sacred Love and the other Profane Love. They are seen fighting and the former defeats the latter. The work is a copy of the marble relief by François Duquesnoy (1597-1643) made to decorate the garden of one of the Roman villas of the Doria-Pamphilj family. The pres

Semiprecious-stone box
Hardstone, Ebony wood. 1650 - 1700
Anonymous
Semiprecious-stone box
Hardstone, Ebony wood. 1650 - 1700
Anonymous

Florentine Mosaic is a technique in which semiprecious stones are cut and assembled so that their different colors and grains form a pictorial composition. This term reflects the fact that the technique emerged in 16th-century Florence with a degree of perfection that has since been equaled, but never surpassed. Its origins undoubtedly lie in classic mosaic—Roman opus sectile—as the technique is e

Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous
Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous

This vessel is made of porphyry, a material greatly valued since classical antiquity because of its rarity and great beauty for use in ornamental pieces intended for the palaces of nobility and members of the court. Its decoration with curved grooves and the double handles in the form of snakes correspond to a classicist tendency that merged models recouped from antiquity with esthetic motives bel

Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo
Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo

The table O00542 is supported by four bronze lions O00453, O02938, O02939, and O02940 that Velazquez commissioned from Matteo Bonuccelli during the painter´s second trip to Rome (1649-1651). The lions were arranged in pairs, holding up six porphyry sideboards in the Salon de Espejos in the Alcazar in Madrid. They retain their original gilding of 1651 and have been used since 1839 to support

Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo
Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo

The table O00542 is supported by four bronze lions O00453, O02938, O02939, and O02940 that Velazquez commissioned from Matteo Bonuccelli during the painter´s second trip to Rome (1649-1651). The lions were arranged in pairs, holding up six porphyry sideboards in the Salon de Espejos in the Alcazar in Madrid. They retain their original gilding of 1651 and have been used since 1839 to support

Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo
Lion
Gilt-bronze. 1651
Bonuccelli, Matteo

The table O00542 is supported by four bronze lions O00453, O02938, O02939, and O02940 that Velazquez commissioned from Matteo Bonuccelli during the painter´s second trip to Rome (1649-1651). The lions were arranged in pairs, holding up six porphyry sideboards in the Salon de Espejos in the Alcazar in Madrid. They retain their original gilding of 1651 and have been used since 1839 to support

Porphyry vase
Porphyry, Wood. Ca. 1650
Anonymous
Porphyry vase
Porphyry, Wood. Ca. 1650
Anonymous

This large vase is decorated with a mask in the middle section. It lacks the lid and base, which are known from a drawing of 1682 now in London. It belonged to Gaspar de Haro y Guzmán, Marquis of Carpio (1619-1687) who was Spanish ambassador in Rome then Viceroy of Naples in 1683, assembling an exceptional art collection in Italy.

Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous
Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous

Since the time of Antiquity, porphyry was one of the most highly regarded materials due to its rarity and great beauty, making it ideal for ornamental objects intended for the palaces of royalty and the aristocracy. The form and decoration of this example combine curving striations and gadroons. It is the pair to another similar one, also in the Prado (O496). Perhaps it comes from the collection o

Philip II's Tabletop
Africano marble, White marble, Agate, Jasper, Lapis lazuli. Before 1587
Roman Sculptor
Philip II's Tabletop
Africano marble, White marble, Agate, Jasper, Lapis lazuli. Before 1587
Roman Sculptor

This tabletop was sent from Rome by Cardinal Alessandrino, nephew of Pope Pius V, to Philip II of Spain in 1587. Of unusual proportions, it is designed to create the impression that the inlay is made of precious stones. The bronze mounts date from the reign of Isabel II. Like the Table of don Rodrigo Calderon (O00448), this tabletop rests on four of the twelve lions that Velazquez commissioned fro

Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous
Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous

Following a generalised fashion in European royal palaces during the Baroque period, porphyry, with its characteristic reddish-purple tinge, was used to establish a sense of uninterrupted continuity with the remote imperial past. These vases added sumptuousness and splendour to palace rooms, including the examples that decorated the Hall of Mirrors in the Alcázar in Madrid. The form and dec

Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous
Porphyry vase
Porphyry. Ca. 1650
Anonymous

This simply carved, two-handled vase has gadroons around the bottom and lip. Decorative objects made in porphyry were obligatory items in royal and aristocratic collections, particularly in the seventeenth century, as inventories of the period indicate. They were usually acquired by Spaniards posted to Italy as ambassadors and viceroys. (Modern wooden base).

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