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Saint Bruno Encounters the Count of Sicily and Calabria
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
Saint Bruno Encounters the Count of Sicily and Calabria
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

Departure from the Inn
Oil on panel. Ca. 1660
Wouwerman, Philips
Departure from the Inn
Oil on panel. Ca. 1660
Wouwerman, Philips

The picture belongs to a group of scenes set inside a stable which Wouwerman began painting in 1655. This cycle is an exception in the painter`s output, which was mainly focused on outdoor scenes. Most of these stable views are based on the same compositional scheme: two-thirds of the panel is occupied by the dark interior of the stable, which opens out on the left towards a landscape painted in m

The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. 1547
Machuca, Pedro
The Descent from the Cross
Oil on panel. 1547
Machuca, Pedro

Christ´s body is taken from the cross by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. On the ground, Mary Magdalene extends her arms to him while the Virgin weeps sorrowfully. The depiction of these customary figures is rounded out by the presence of a soldier with renaissance armor and two children, one with a handkerchief tied around his head. These realistic details give Machuca´s scene a special charact

Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero
Don Quixote Dubbed a Knight
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1720
Iriarte, Valero

The scene, with a distinctly genre flavour, depicts a passage from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The main figure, wearing armour, kneels awaiting to be dubbed a knight; the amusing folk setting around him is far removed from the ceremonial splendour implied by such an event.

Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) was the third son of Charles VII of Naples and his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. When his father acceded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he became king of Naples. The sitter wears the Orders of the Golden Fleece and San Gennaro. His childish grace contrasts with the courtly pomp of the setting.

The Virgin and Child adored by Saint Louis, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Coello, Claudio
The Virgin and Child adored by Saint Louis, King of France
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Coello, Claudio

Surrounded by angels, the Holy Family, with Saint Elizabeth and the infant Saint John, receive Saint Louis, King of France. The background combines architecture and curtains. This work is organized like a large stage set, using the infant Saint John and an adjacent lamb to invite the viewer to participate. The dynamic and complex composition with its brilliant and expansive colors recalls models f

The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)
The Martyrdom of Saint Menas
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1580
Veronese, Paolo (Paolo Cagliari)

Saint Mena extends his arms and raises his gaze to Heaven, refusing to worship the graven idol presented to him at the left of the composition. As a result, he was martyred and decapitated. His suffering occurred in the year 296, under the rule of Diocletian. It is indicated here by the sword held by the person who has seized the saint, and by the pliers in the basket, which were used to pull out

The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

On June 5, 1625 the Dutch governor of Breda, Justinus van Nassau, surrendered the keys of that city to Ambrosio Spínola, the Genoese general commanding the Spanish tercios (a group of soldiers that included pikemen, swordsmen and musketeers) of Flanders. Breda`s extraordinary strategic importance made it one of the most disputed cities in the Spanish monarchy`s prolonged war against the Uni

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background. Rubens painted this wo

The Death of Viriatus, Chief of the Lusitanians (preparatory sketch)
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1807
Madrazo y Agudo, José de
The Death of Viriatus, Chief of the Lusitanians (preparatory sketch)
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1807
Madrazo y Agudo, José de

This preparatory sketch for the large-scale canvas painted by Madrazo in Rome (also on display in this room) reveals various differences with respect to the final composition. Madrazo gave more space to the tent in the upper part of the sketch, which he subsequently reduced. There are also differences in the figures and in the landscape with the camp on the far right, which he enlarged.

The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul
The Death of the Consul Publius Decius
Oil on panel. 1616 - 1617
Rubens, Peter Paul

This panel is one of the models designed by Rubens for a series of tapestries on the life of the Consul Publius Decius(4th century BC). It offers an extremely eloquent depiction of this Roman hero’s moral example: following a prediction in a dream, he stoically sacrificed his own life in exchange for his people’s final victory over the Latins.

Cavalry Combat
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Wouwerman, Philips
Cavalry Combat
Oil on canvas. 1650 - 1655
Wouwerman, Philips

The main scene occupies the foreground, though it is no longer set in the plane closest to the viewer as in the previous period, but slightly further back. As a result, the figures are smaller in size. The horizon line is also lower, affording the sky greater prominence. Furthermore, although the composition is still partly enclosed in the background by a diagonal, it extends into the distance on

The Martyrdom of Fathers John Rochester and James Walworth
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1632
Carducho, Vicente
The Martyrdom of Fathers John Rochester and James Walworth
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

Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Patinir, Joachim
Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Oil on panel. 1518 - 1520
Patinir, Joachim

The Virgin and Child are placed on a hill in the centre of the foreground, isolated from the rest of the figures, as in the Berlin panel (Gemäldegalerie ). The dark forest here begins in the middle ground behind the Virgin, merging with the background landscape to one side of the main figure. The countryside to the right, with the motifs of the farm, the village in the middle ground and the c

Charles IV and his Family honoured by the University of Valencia
Oil on canvas. 1802
López Portaña, Vicente
Charles IV and his Family honoured by the University of Valencia
Oil on canvas. 1802
López Portaña, Vicente

During his visit to Valencia in 1802, the Literary University of the city gave the King this painting which shows the university, personified as a young matron, introducing the royal family to the various faculties: Theology, Law, Philosophy and Medicine. They are accompanied by the goddess Minerva, who points to Peace, Victory and Abundance, who fly over this symbolic reception.

Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This image of King Charles III was paired with a portrait of his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony (P2201), although the image of the queen was not painted in her presence. Instead, it was invented on the basis of other likenesses, as she died before the artist was able to paint her.Mengs’s effigie of Charles III became the monarch’s official image and was therefore the object of various replicas. One

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

The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David
The Bivouac
Oil on panel. 1640 - 1650
Teniers The Younger, David

Of the artists who painted war scenes in the 17th century, none was as interested as David Teniers II in capturing images from behind the lines. With his customary tactile rigor, he depicts a plethora of military objects lying in the foreground with no apparent order and a handful of figures hanging cuirasses or helping their colleagues to remove their footgear. At the same time, he draws on one o

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