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The Death of Hyacinth
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Death of Hyacinth
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Apollo helplessly contemplates the death throes of his beloved Hyacinth, who was hit by one of the discs the two were throwing in a display of their athletic skills. This is one of the preparatory sketches Rubens made for the painting Jan Cossiers carried out for use in the Torre de la Parada. Rubens based this work on a sketch by Michelangelo, revealing his interest in Renaissance artists.

Deucalion and Pyrrha
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Deucalion and Pyrrha
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Humanity´s rebirth after the flood is represented in Greek mythology through the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha. After surviving the disaster, they threw stones over their shoulders, each of which became a new being. This story is told by the classical poet, Ovid, in his Metamorphoses. This painting is a sketch by Rubens for a painting —now lost— by Jan Cossiers for the Torre de la Parada. Rubens w

Cephalus and Procris
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cephalus and Procris
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Fearing she was a victim of infidelity, Procris followed her beloved Cephalus to a clearing in the woods, where he was resting during a hunting expedition. The young woman´s jealousy led her to her death when Cephalus mistook her for wild game and shot her with an arrow. Rubens chose to depict that story from Ovid´s Metamorphoses in this preparatory sketch for a painting intended to decorate the T

Vertumnus and Pomona
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Vertumnus and Pomona
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

According to Ovid´s Metamorphosis, Vertumnus had to disguise himself as a woman in order to gain Pomona´s love. Rubens chose to depict the moment when, having removed his disguise, Vertumnus declares his love to the attractive young woman. She holds a sickle in her right hand, which alludes to her condition as a deity related to the fruits of nature. That is also why the scene is set in a garden.

The Persecution of the Harpies
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Persecution of the Harpies
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

In his Metamorphoses, Ovid tells of the moment when the Harpies, monstrous beings that were half bird and half woman, were pursued and killed by two of the Argonauts that accompanied Jason. On this panel, Rubens depicts the scene that served as a preparatory sketch for a painting by Erasmus Quellinus that hung in the Torre de la Parada. The subject is one of the most enigmatic of the whole series.

Prometheus
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Prometheus
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

The mythological hero, Prometheus, was Jupiter´s son. He defied the gods by stealing fire from them and giving it to Humanity in order to improve their life on Earth. This story told by Hesiod in his Theogony is depicted in Ruben´s sketch. Here, the artist captures the moment when, fleeing from heavenly Olympus, Prometheus looks back. Behind him, the ire of the gods is insinuated by the sunbeams t

The Rape of Europe
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Rape of Europe
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Europe turns a last glance at her companions, who are located outside the composition, as Jupiter carries her away. The god was profoundly enamored of her and transformed into a bull in order to approach her. This story from Ovid´s Metamorphoses is depicted by Rubens in a very succinct manner in this preparatory sketch for a painting Erasmus Quellinus made for the Torre de la Parada.

The Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Triumph of the Eucharist over Idolatry
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

The Victory of Truth over Heresy
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Victory of Truth over Heresy
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

The Triumph of Divine Love
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Triumph of Divine Love
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

Diana and her Nymphs hunting
Oil on oak panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Diana and her Nymphs hunting
Oil on oak panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Recognizable by the crescent-moon-shaped diadem on her head, Diana hunts deer with spears and dogs, accompanied by various nymphs. The extremely horizontal composition is one of the peculiarities of this work, which belongs to an important sect of sketches made by Rubens for the pictorial decoration of the Torre de la Parada. On these small panels, the painter defined the design, colors, forms and

The Triumph of the Church
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Triumph of the Church
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

Hercules and Cerberus
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Hercules and Cerberus
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

The mythological hero fights against the fearful three-headed dog that guards the Underworld while two figures, possibly the Underworld´s titular gods, Pluto and Proserpina, watch the scene in terror. Rubens was directly inspired by Ovid´s Metamorphoses in his depiction of this test of Hercules, though it is also described in other classical texts, such as Homer´s Iliad and Odyssey. This is one of

The Defenders of the Eucharist
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Defenders of the Eucharist
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

This panel depicts seven saints who worked to safeguard and promote the Eucharist. On the left are Saint Ambrose, Saint Augustine and Saint Gregory the Great. In the centre is Saint Clare of Assisi, who is given the features of the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, Rubens’s patron who commissioned this series. The bareheaded Dominican Saint Thomas Aquinas asserts the doctrine of the Eucharist and its

Apollo and the Serpent Python
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul
Apollo and the Serpent Python
Oil on panel. 1636 - 1637
Rubens, Peter Paul

Apollo fights the terrible Python to free beautiful Andromeda, who was destined to be one of the victims of this monster. She is sketched in behind the beast. In the air, Cupid shoots his arrows into the God, alluding to the love arising between Apollo and Andromeda, as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses. This sketch was made as part of the projected decoration of the Torre de la Parada and was use

The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek
Oil on panel. Ca. 1625
Rubens, Peter Paul

In 1625, Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia commissioned Rubens to design a series of twenty tapestries for the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales in Madrid. The subject was the Eucharist, a leading Catholic dogma that the infanta defended in her role as sovereign princess of the southern Netherlands. Rubens conceived the scenes like victory marches, as if the cloths were hanging from baroque archite

The Holy Family
Oil on panel. XVII century
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Holy Family
Oil on panel. XVII century
Rubens, Peter Paul

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