View of the Gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome
of the Gardens of the Villa Medici in Rome, with the statue of Ariadne

Represented by almost 50 works, more than one third of his total output, Velázquez is the towering genius of this period in the Prado’s collection. Among his most popular paintings in the collection is The Adoration of the Magi from his Sevillian phase. From his period as Court Painter are the portraits of Felipe IV, Prince Baltasar Carlos on Horseback, The Infante Don Carlos and Queen Mariana of Austria, together with a sizeable collection of portraits of court dwarves such as Pablo de Valladolid. Also dating from the artist’s years in the service of Felipe IV are various “history” paintings including The Drinkers, Vulcan’s Forge and The Surrender of Breda, in addition to two major compositions from the end of his life, namely The Fable of Arachne (The Spinners) and Las Meninas.

Highly important works are also to be seen by the other great figures of the Spanish Golden Age: Ribera, Murillo, Zurbarán and Alonso Cano. Like Velázquez, Ribera is represented by around 50 paintings, among them masterpieces such as Jacob and Esau and The Martyrdom of Saint Philip. Murillo is represented in the Prado by around 40 paintings, some as celebrated as The Good Shepherd, The Holy Family with a Little Bird and The Immaculate Conception of los Venerables (The “Soult” Immaculate Conception). Zurbarán is also represented by a significant collection of works including Saint Elizabeth of Portugal and two paintings from the series on the life of Saint Peter Nolasco from the Cloister of the Merced Calzada in Sevilla. The same can be said of Alonso Cano, represented by paintings such as The Dead Christ Held by an Angel.

The Prado has numerous religious paintings from the 17th-century Madrid School, including works by Fray Juan Ricci, Antonio de Pereda, Francisco de Herrera el Mozo and Claudio Coello, as well as some magnificent portraits by Carreño de Miranda. Other 17th-century Spanish schools are represented, such as the Sevillian, which includes examples of the work of Valdés Leal.

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