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Eternal Happiness (preparatory sketch)
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1813
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
Eternal Happiness (preparatory sketch)
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1813
Madrazo y Agudo, José de

This is a modellino for the canvas commissioned by Charles IV during his exile in Rome for the ceiling of a room in the Palazzo di Spagna. The artist and his royal client’s tastes are revealed in the use of quintessentially Raphaelesque models, evident in the face of the woman and the poses of the two small putti holding up the cartouches.

Prometheus
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Cossiers, Jan
Prometheus
Oil on canvas. 1636 - 1638
Cossiers, Jan

La historia de Prometeo, narrada en la obra Prometeo encadenado del poeta griego Esquilo y en la Teogonía del también poeta Hesiodo, cuenta como Prometeo robó el fuego de los dioses para dárselo a los hombres. La obra muestra el momento en el que Prometeo escapa del Olimpo con la llama, girando la cabeza para evitar que se descubra el robo. Esta pintura forma parte del programa decorativo de la To

Tomás de Iriarte
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1785
Inza, Joaquín
Tomás de Iriarte
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1785
Inza, Joaquín

An in-depth study of Joaquín Inza is yet to be conducted that would allow us to gauge his role and importance in the panorama of Spanish art in the second half of the eighteenth century. Inza is known for his portraits of the royal family and of aristocrats and intellectuals from the period, and is now regarded as an estimable and discrete painter with a precise, austere style, although som

Allegory of Dusk
Oil on canvas. 1819
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
Allegory of Dusk
Oil on canvas. 1819
Madrazo y Agudo, José de

The allegories, The Hours of the Day, were painted in 1819 by José de Madrazo in Rome just before his return to Spain, to be used in the decoration of the small palace in Madrid known as Casino de la Reina. This country holding, considered one of “the most prized curiosities of Madrid”, was acquired in 1816 by the city government of Madrid as a gift for Queen María Isabel of Braganza

The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on slate. 1590 - 1598
Bassano, Leandro
The Crowning with Thorns
Oil on slate. 1590 - 1598
Bassano, Leandro

The composition is derived from a Cristo incoronato di Spine done by Jacopo Bassano towards 1589-1590 (Rome, private collection), in which Ballarin clearly sees the influence of Titian´s Christ Crowned with Thorns (Munich, Alte Pinakothek, inv. 2272). The Galleria Sabauda in Turin houses a bottega replica which, like the Prado version, is painted on slate.Several aspects of the painting justify it

Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)
Abundance and the Four Elements
Oil on panel. Ca. 1615
Balen, Hendrick Van; Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel)

Abundance, personified by Ceres, goddess of fertility and agriculture, sits in front of a thicket of reeds at the edge of a forest. She has adorned her hair with wheat spikes -her attribute- and bears the horn of plenty under her left arm. Earth sits at her feet, offering her one of her fruits, she is personified by Flora, goddess of the earth and also of spring, which explains the flowers in her

Venus with the signs of Libra and Taurus
Oil on canvas. XVI century
Facchetti, Pietro
Venus with the signs of Libra and Taurus
Oil on canvas. XVI century
Facchetti, Pietro

The planet Venus, accompanied by a torch-bearing child, represents the morning star. Behind them, a fragment of the Zodiac presents the signs of Libra and Taurus. At the top, a winged figure rests his extended arms on the ring.This painting and its companions (P306 to P312) are copies of cartoons for the mosaics at the Chigi Chapel in the Roman church of Santa Maria del Popolo. Those cartoons were

Vault with the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy
Fresco-secco, Fresco painting on wall covering. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca
Vault with the Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy
Fresco-secco, Fresco painting on wall covering. Ca. 1697
Giordano, Luca

The vault of the former Hall of Ambassadors at the Buen Retiro Palace, constructed alongside the former Royal Quarters of San Jerónimo at the behest of the Count-Duke of Olivares as a royal residence for leisure and for the monarchs’ public and official receptions. In the eastern part of this complex, a small building was erected after the palace itself was completed (1632). It was designed

The Birth of the Sun and the Triumph of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1761
Giaquinto, Corrado
The Birth of the Sun and the Triumph of Bacchus
Oil on canvas. 1761
Giaquinto, Corrado

This is a sketch of the fresco that Corrado Giaquinto painted in the former stairway at the Madrid’s Royal Palace, which is now the Hall of Columns. That fresco, his last work at the Royal Palace, is undoubtedly one of the finest paintings from Giaquinto’s Spanish period.He concluded it in 1762, so the sketch presented here must have been made slightly earlier. At the top is the figure of Apollo,

Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de
Abundance with the Four Elements
Oil on copperplate. 1606
Brueghel The Elder, Jan (Jan 'velvet' Brueghel); Clerck, Hendrik de

In this painting, Ceres, goddess of agriculture and fertility, is surrounded by fruits and flowers, pictured as the personification of Abundance holding the horn of plenty in her hands. The history of the horn of plenty is taken from two texts by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE-CE 17/18), Metamorphoses (IX, 80-100) and Book of Days (V, 121-24). The idea of prosperity is completed by the personificatio

Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques
Perseus freeing Andromeda
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1641
Rubens, Peter Paul; Jordaens, Jacques

As punishment for the vanity of Cassiopeia, who thought herself more beautiful than the Neriads, Poseidon, god of the seas, sent a monster to the kingdom of Ethiopia. Its fury could only be detained if it received Cassiopeia´s daughter, Andromeda. This painting illustrates the moment when Perseus frees Andromeda from her bounds. He is in love with her, as is made clear by the presence of Cupid wit

The Garden of Love
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Garden of Love
Oil on canvas. 1630 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

We are confronted here with one of Rubens’s greatest gifts as a painter: his ability to create images of a joyful way of being in the world related to love and inspired by ancient literature and Renaissance art. In the case of the latter, this means primarily Titian. This painting is especially close in mood to the Bacchanal of the Andrians and the Worship of Venus. Many features of this scene cal

Fire
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1700
Palomino y Velasco, Acisclo Antonio
Fire
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1700
Palomino y Velasco, Acisclo Antonio

The allegory takes place in a setting of dark foliage that partly conceals a grotto -the forge of Vulcan- while the sea horizon on the other side is dominated by the crater of a volcano. In the foreground Venus, accompanied by Cupid and some putti, pays a visit to her husband´s forge. The work belongs to a series of the Four Elements executed by several painters for the Buen Retiro palace.

Allegory of Noon
Oil on canvas. 1819
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
Allegory of Noon
Oil on canvas. 1819
Madrazo y Agudo, José de

The allegories, The Hours of the Day, were painted in 1819 by José de Madrazo in Rome just before his return to Spain, to be used in the decoration of the small palace in Madrid known as Casino de la Reina. This country holding, considered one of “the most prized curiosities of Madrid”, was acquired in 1816 by the city government of Madrid as a gift for Queen María Isabel of Braganza

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

Ceres in the House of Hecuba
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1605
Elsheimer, Adam (And Workshop)
Ceres in the House of Hecuba
Oil on copperplate. Ca. 1605
Elsheimer, Adam (And Workshop)

According to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, after several days’s searching for her daughter Proserpina, who had been abducted by Pluto, Ceres stopped at the house of Hecuba. There, the goddess was offered a jug of water, from which she drank greedily, provoking the laughter of the young Stellio, whom Ceres turned into a tiny lizard. This painting belonged to Rubens, a friend and admirer of Elsheimer.

Saint Francis of Assisi and Brother Leo meditating on Death
Oil on canvas. 1600 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)
Saint Francis of Assisi and Brother Leo meditating on Death
Oil on canvas. 1600 - 1614
el Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (And Workshop)

Sheltered in a cave, Saint Francis of Assisi kneels thoughtfully while holding a skull in his hands bearing the stigmata. The saint kneels on a sort of stone pedestal that elevates him above Brother Leo. To the right of the saint, Brother Leo is also depicted kneeling and foreshortened. He is praying while contemplating the skull, the object that centres the composition. The two monks wear the gre

Allegory of Dawn
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1819
Ribera y Fernández, Juan Antonio
Allegory of Dawn
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1819
Ribera y Fernández, Juan Antonio

The allegories, The Hours of the Day, were painted in 1819 by José de Madrazo in Rome just before his return to Spain, to be used in the decoration of the small palace in Madrid known as Casino de la Reina. This country holding, considered one of “the most prized curiosities of Madrid”, was acquired in 1816 by the city government of Madrid as a gift for Queen María Isabel of Braganza

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