Inventory number
Brueghel the Elder, Jan; Rubens, Peter Paul
64 cm x 109 cm
On display
Colección Real (Real Alcázar, Madrid, Pieza donde S. M. lee en el cuarto bajo, con vista al jardin de la priora, 1636, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Retiradico, 1666, nº 60; Real Alcázar, Pieça inmediata que llaman el Retiradico, 1686, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Pieza inmediata que llaman el Retiradico, 1701-1703, nº 318; Real Alcázar, Pinturas que se llevaron a la armeria, 1734, nº 141; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, pinturas entregadas en dhas. Casas Arzobispales a Dn. Santiago de Bonabia, 1747, nº 141; Palacio Nuevo, Madrid, Gabinete colgado de verde, 1772, nº 141; Palacio Nuevo, Segundo Gabinete, 1794, s.n.; Palacio Nuevo, Pieza verde de chimenea, 1814-1818, s.n., Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, Madrid, Salon 2º Escuela Flamenca, 1834, nº 400)

This set of paintings on the five senses (Sight, P01394; Hearing, P01395; Smell, P01396; Taste, P01397; Touch, P01398) was one of the most successful collaborations of Peter Paul Rubens and Jan Brueghel “the Elder”.

Rubens placed his figures in the magnificent courtly scenes created by Brueghel as settings for these allegories of the senses, resulting in a series of enormous quality and esthetic appeal. The subject was widely employed in Flemish painting.

A satyr pours nectar of the gods into a sumptuous goblet held by a nymph leaning on a table full of food, alluding to taste and its relation to the idea of abundance.

In this apparently pagan, lustful and animal-natured setting, the garland and the three paintings in the background bear a moral and Christological meaning. The Offering to Cibeles reveals a disproportionate fondness for abundance and wealth; The Abundant Kitchen, near the top, while less refined than the palace tables, alludes to human weakness in the face of gluttony, which is more moderate in the Rustic Kitchen and The Wedding Feast at Canna.

Ministerio de Cultura. Gobierno de España; abre en ventana nueva
España es cultura Spain is culture
Portal de la transparencia. Gobierno de España
Copyright © 2015 Museo Nacional del Prado.
Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23
Madrid 28014
Tel. +34 91 330 2800.
Todos los derechos reservados