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The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1794
Maella, Mariano Salvador
The Last Supper
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1794
Maella, Mariano Salvador

Preparatory sketch for a work possibly intended for the private chapel of the Infante Don Antonio Pascual in the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The composition is very similar to the Last Supper in the Royal Palace of Madrid painted by Maella in 1794.

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

Isabel de Borbón, Wife of Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Villandrando, Rodrigo de
Isabel de Borbón, Wife of Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1620
Villandrando, Rodrigo de

The daughter of Henri IV of France and Marie de Médicis, Isabel de Borbón (1603-1644) was the first wife of Philip IV and the mother of Prince Baltasar Carlos and María Teresa of Austria. In Villandrando’s portrait, painted a year before Isabel became Queen of Spain, she wears a stiff, sumptuous dress that emphasises her presence and royal status. Although Spanish in cut, the

Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Luis Meléndez distinguished himself as the greatest bodegón, or still-life, painter in late eighteenth-century Spain. By this time, the popularity of the genre had declined in Spain and was not practiced by any of Meléndez’ contemporaries at court. Even so, Meléndez painted over one hundred bodegones in his lifetime, leading art historians to infer that he took a person

Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1810 - 1813
González Velázquez, Zacarías
Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1810 - 1813
González Velázquez, Zacarías

A member of a dynasty of artists that began with his grandfather, the sculptor Pablo González Velázquez (1664-1727), Zacarías González Velázquez initially trained with his father, the painter Antonio González Velázquez (1723-94). In 1777, he joined the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, an institution to which he remained tied for the rest

The Pentecost
Oil on canvas. 1612 - 1614
Maíno, Fray Juan Bautista
The Pentecost
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

Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain
Oil on canvas. 1607
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Margaret of Austria married Philip III in 1599 after Philip II chose her from among the women of the Austria-Styria family. The marriage was planned to coincide with that of infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and archduke Albert. Margaret was born in 1584 and when she arrived in Spain in April 1599, she had already been married by power of attorney in Ferrara. She was known for her discretion and virtue

The Extasis of Jean Birelle
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
The Extasis of Jean Birelle
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente

On August 29, 1626, King Philip IV’s painter, Vicente Carducho (ca. 1576-1638), signed a contract for the creation of a cycle of paintings to celebrate the founding of the Carthusian Order by Saint Bruno and its leading members. This colossal undertaking sought to visually narrate numerous episodes from the Carthusians’ history and tradition. It was the most complete commission ever dedicated to t

The Poultry Vendor
Oil on canvas. 1626
Loarte, Alejandro de
The Poultry Vendor
Oil on canvas. 1626
Loarte, Alejandro de

This is Loarte’s most ambitious work among his still lifes. A depiction of a market stall in the Plaza de Zocodover in Toledo, it marks the end of a career cut short by the artist’s early death. Brushwork, colour and lighting are used to create a composition of notable visual impact, of which another version of the same date is known.

The Holy Family of Cardinal Fernando de’ Medici
Oil on canvas. 1584
Allori, Alessandro
The Holy Family of Cardinal Fernando de’ Medici
Oil on canvas. 1584
Allori, Alessandro

Cardinal Fernando de’ Medici gave this canvas to the Minorite seminary of San Francisco de Paula, the saint who kneels in the foreground. The seminary, in Alcalá de Henares, was founded by the influential wife of Bartolomé de Santoyo, Keeper of the King’s Jewels and Royal Secretary. The canvas reflects the new style developed by the painter Santi di Tito in Florence from 1575 onwards

The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
The Apparition of the Virgin to Saint Ildephonsus
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1655
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

This miraculous scene from the life of Saint Ildefonso portrays the moment when the Virgin descended from Heaven to give him a chasuble as a prize for his praises. The choice of this subject corresponds to the Counterreformation policy carried out in Spain, where devotion to Mary was one of its fundamental pillars. The composition is divided into an upper, divine world and a lower, earthly one. Th

Man condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio
Man condemned by the Inquisition
Oil on canvas. 1860
Lucas Velázquez, Eugenio

Wearing a penitent´s hood, a man condemned by the Inquisition rides a burro, receiving the insults of those observing this street scene. Executed with rapid and impasto brushstrokes favors, this work is inspired by scenes of inquisitorial condemnations painted by Goya, who was an exceptional witness to them. Lucas, however, could not have been a direct witness to this type of events as the inquisi

Manuela de Errazu
Oil on canvas. 1870 - 1871
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de
Manuela de Errazu
Oil on canvas. 1870 - 1871
Madrazo y Garreta, Raimundo de

The eldest of six children born to Joaquín María de Errazu and Guadalupe Rubio de Tejada, Manuela was born in Querétaro (Mexico) in 1839. Her family, of Spanish origin, amassed a huge fortune through the industrial development of that Central-American country. When she was fifteen years old, her parents moved to the most exclusive neighborhood in Paris. There, despite some cri

Saint Augustine between Christ and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban
Saint Augustine between Christ and the Virgin
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1664
Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban

While meditating on which of the two to focus his devotions, Christ on the cross and the Virgin appeared to Saint Augustine. Christ offered him the blood from the wound in his side, while Mary rewarded him with her milk. This canvas was originally in the Sevillian monastery of San Agustín. The upper part with angels was added in the eighteenth century.

Still Life with Jug, Bread and Basket with Tableware
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Jug, Bread and Basket with Tableware
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

In the foreground of this painting, a loaf of bread rests on a knife, its foreshortened handle jutting out past the edge of the wooden surface on which the various objects are arranged. Next to it sits a coarse, glazed earthenware jug, which could hold milk or some kind of preserved food. The style of the jug recalls pottery traditionally produced in Alcorcón and Camporreal (towns within the provi

Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1899
Díaz Molina, José
Self-portrait
Oil on canvas. 1899
Díaz Molina, José

El artista se ha retratado a los 38 años de edad, de busto corto sobre un fondo neutro, en actitud ensimismada, concentrándose toda la expresión en sus melancólicos y cansados ojos claros, que se dejan ver a través de unos quevedos. Viste chaqueta gris y corbata ancha estampada en tonos azules.Como otros muchos artistas de la época de la Restauración, Díaz Molina se dedicó fundamentalmente al retr

Saint James of the Marches
Oil on canvas. 1659 - 1660
Zurbarán, Francisco de
Saint James of the Marches
Oil on canvas. 1659 - 1660
Zurbarán, Francisco de

The Franciscan friar Jacopo della Marca (1391-1476) was known for his reforming zeal and for his involvement in a complex debate on the divinity of Christ’s blood, shed during the Passion. The present scene refers to this episode and is one of a series of four paintings executed for the chapel of San Diego in Alcalá de Henares, a project in which Alonso Cano was also involved. Procede del

Reproduction of the Dalmatic of Charlemagne
Oil on canvas. 1889
Coranty [Llurià] de Guasch, Emilia
Reproduction of the Dalmatic of Charlemagne
Oil on canvas. 1889
Coranty [Llurià] de Guasch, Emilia

Emília Coranty, the first woman admitted to study arts and crafts at the Escuela de la Lonja in Barcelona, was awarded a grant to continue her studies in Rome. There she made this copy of the so-called Dalmatic of Charlemagne preserved at St Peter’s, which is said by tradition to have been worn by the emperor on the day of his coronation. The choice of a textile piece demonstrates not only

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