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The Drawing Studio
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del
The Drawing Studio
Oil on canvas. 1780
Castillo, José del

A childhood scene located on a terrace beside a garden. Three elegantly clothed boys play with a cat. The academic drawing in the background, along with the portfolio and brush belonging to one of the boys, gave this work its name, as though it were an artistic study. This work belongs to a series of scenes related to education that sought to show the Enlightenment´s pedagogical ideas, which relat

The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
The Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista

On 14 February 1612 Juan Bautista Maíno signed the contract to execute the paintings for the monastery church of San Pedro Mártir in Toledo. Maíno agreed to a period of eight months to make the paintings, which had to portray the scenes and episodes specified by the prior of the monastery. Despite the agreement reached in the contract, the paintings were not completed until De

The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven
The Genius of Painting
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1650
Mehus, Lieven

Born in Flanders, Livio Mehus moved to Milan at a young age and is thus often considered an artist of the Italian school. He is recorded in Rome at the age of fourteen and later in Florence, Lucca and around Genoa. He also worked successively in Piamonte and Lombardy. There is ample documentation of his activity as a painter of frescoes and oils, an expert on northern Italian painting and a restor

The Siesta, or Pompeian Scene
Oil on canvas. 1868
Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence
The Siesta, or Pompeian Scene
Oil on canvas. 1868
Alma-Tadema, Sir Lawrence

A domestic scene set in classical antiquity. An old man and a youth recline on divans while an attractive young woman plays music on a double flute. Both the clothing and the setting suggest the Greek world, and the motives and clothing are rigorously faithful to archeological discoveries made in the mid nineteenth century. Despite being Dutch by birth, Sir Lawrence Alma cultivated an eclectic per

The Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Battle of Clavijo
Oil on canvas. 1755 - 1756
Giaquinto, Corrado

Mounted on a white steed and flanked by an angel bearing a flag, Saint James gallops over a multitude of fallen Moors and horses. The battle scene occupies a rocky landscape in the middle ground. This canvas is a sketch for the elliptical dome at the entrance to the Royal Palace’s chapel and was painted by Giaquinto between 1756 and 1757. The canvas and its corresponding fresco are clearly derived

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

The Crucifixion
Oil on panel. 1509 - 1519
Flandes, Juan de
The Crucifixion
Oil on panel. 1509 - 1519
Flandes, Juan de

Documents at Palencia Cathedral cast light on this Crucifixion’s original location -the central row of the main altarpiece at that cathedral- and its author: Juan de Flandes (doc. 1496-1519). They also offer information about this panel between 1509, when that Flemish painter was commissioned to paint it, and 1944, when the Cathedral management sold it. Those same documents indicate that Palencia

The Archduke Leopold William in his Picture Gallery in Brussels
Oil on copperplate. 1647 - 1651
Teniers The Younger, David
The Archduke Leopold William in his Picture Gallery in Brussels
Oil on copperplate. 1647 - 1651
Teniers The Younger, David

Depictions of painting galleries became popular in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 17th century. The exhibition of paintings and other artistic or natural objects was originally a way of manifesting the high social standing of an eminently bourgeois class with a strong desire to ennoble itself. In many cases, the paintings did not rigorously reflect the client’s collection, but served inst

Sacrifice to Bacchus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Stanzione, Massimo
Sacrifice to Bacchus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Stanzione, Massimo

While it is first listed in 1666 at the Alcázar, where it hung alongside Ribera’s Fable of Bacchus or Teoxenia (of which only three fragments have survived: two at the Museo del Prado and one in a private collection), this work’s subject and dimensions suggest it may originally have been commissioned for the Buen Retiro Palace. Along with Finoglia’s Triumph of Bacchus (P7309), Poussin’s Sac

Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on panel. Ca. 1500
Anonymous
Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua
Oil on panel. Ca. 1500
Anonymous

This panel depicts a miracle of Saint Anthony: the conversion of a heretic when he realised that a hungry mule refrained from eating a basket of barley with a consecrated Host on it. Sculpture is used to characterise the different buildings in the urban setting in which the episode takes place, with saints on churches and kings on the town hall.

Agnus Dei
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Zurbarán, Francisco de
Agnus Dei
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1640
Zurbarán, Francisco de

A dark background and a gray table are the setting for this painting’s only motive: a merino lamb between eight and twelve months old. Still alive, it lies with bound feet in an unmistakably sacrificial posture curiously reminiscent of famous images of martyred saints like Stefano Maderno’s moving sculpture of Saint Cecilia at the basilica of Santa Cecilia in Rome. The painter draws on Zurbar&aacu

The dead Christ
Oil on canvas. 1663
Escalante, Juan Antonio de Frías y
The dead Christ
Oil on canvas. 1663
Escalante, Juan Antonio de Frías y

In this painting, following His crucifixion and descent from the Cross, the body of Christ lies upon a white cloth. On His left is a beam of the cross bearing the sign that identifies Him as King of the Jews and the skull that, according to tradition, indicated that Calvary had been the burial site of Adam. At the other end of the painting, a washbasin recalls the tradition of the arma Christi, an

Vulcan's Forge
Oil on canvas. 1630
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Vulcan's Forge
Oil on canvas. 1630
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

A figure suddenly appears on the left in a forge where various blacksmiths are working, dressed in an orange robe and wearing a laurel wreath, with rays of light emerging from his head. This is Apollo, who addresses himself to Vulcan, the blacksmith nearest to him, whose stance reveals his lameness. Everyone has stopped working, astonished by the news Apollo is recounting: the adultery of Vulcan`s

Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Saints Anthony Abbot and Paul the Hermit
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The subject is drawn from the narration in Jacobo de la Voragine`s 13th-century Golden Legend of Saint Anthony the Abbot`s voyage to the Egyptian desert to visit Saint Paul, the first Christian hermit (4th century). Saint Anthony, whom Velázquez presents dressed in the black-hooded, brown habit of the Hospitallers of Saint Anthony, appears five times in the painting. In the background, he a

The Monkey Sculptor
Oil on panel. Ca. 1660
Teniers The Younger, David
The Monkey Sculptor
Oil on panel. Ca. 1660
Teniers The Younger, David

A monkey dressed as a sculptor works in his studio, making a statue of a satyr while another helps him and a third, dressed in elegant clothes, watches his work attentively. Other works by the artist are visible in the background, including the tomb of another simian. This work is paired with The Monkey Painter (P01805) and both offer Tenier´s critical vision of merely imitative artistic activity.

View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici, Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1630
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici, Rome
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1630
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

A masterpiece in the history of Western landscape painting, in which Velázquez set out his idea of landscape without any narrative excuse to justify it, this Roman scene and its companion work (P01211) are two of his most singular works. Both combine architecture, plant life and sculpture with living figures and integrate them into a landscaped setting in a very natural way. Critics have re

Young Man drawing
Oil on panel. XVIII century
Palthe, Gerhard Jan
Young Man drawing
Oil on panel. XVIII century
Palthe, Gerhard Jan

Inside a room, a young man is copying a classical bust by candlelight. Since 1910 this work appears in the Museo del Prado catalogues as signed and dated on the lower left angle (G. J. Palthe f. 1732), but there is no longer any evidence of this. The scene is typical of the kind painted by Godfried Schalcken (P2078), of whom Palthe was a follower. The young man, the bust and the candle also crop u

Sacrifice for a Roman Emperor
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano
Sacrifice for a Roman Emperor
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Lanfranco, Giovanni Di Stefano

This painting belongs to the Neapolitan group of scenes of ancient Roman life that were ordered in the early to mid 1630s by the Viceroy of Naples, the Count of Monterrey, to decorate the Buen Retiro Palace on the outskirts of Madrid.The painting underscores Lanfranco’s extraordinary powers of inventiveness and productivity during a period in which he was otherwise thoroughly preoccupied with a su

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