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30 of 2,646 paintings
A barefoot saint, dressed in a camel-hair shirt and holding a cross, stands on a marble base. His hair and beard are arranged in extravagant ringlets, and a long banner curls around the cross; we can see part of a Latin inscription on it.This striking figure is Saint John the Baptist, the biblica...
Not on display
The Abbé Scaglia (1592–1641), whose full name was Cesare Alessandro Scaglia di Verrua, was a cleric and diplomat well known in Rome, Madrid, London and Paris for his service to the House of Savoy and Philip IV of Spain. Scaglia was also an art collector of renown who knew, among others, Rubens, V...
Not on display
A bishop saint – Saint Zeno, Bishop of Verona in the fourth century – is exorcising a demon from a young girl; you can see the little black figure jumping out of her mouth. Her parents watch anxiously. Her father, wearing a crown, kneels beside her: he is Emperor Gallienus. According to Zeno’s le...
Here Jan Jansz. Treck has risen to the challenge of evoking the lustre of and distorted reflections in silver, pewter, glass, porcelain and eggshells as well as the complex shadows in a crumpled linen cloth. It was a highly valued skill in Dutch still-life painting and this rather beautiful examp...
The Virgin Mary sits in the shelter of a rocky grotto, with the infants Christ and John the Baptist beside her. This is an early work by the Milanese painter Luini, He was deeply influenced by Leonardo, who was working in Milan from about 1482 to 1499. The figure of the Virgin and the infant Bapt...
Not on display
An ageing man looks affably out at us, a hint of a smile on his lips. The cassock, collar and skull cap he wears indicate that he is a priest, though his identity is unknown. He is shown standing, in three-quarter length, his head and left hand starkly lit against a plain background. The portrait...
Not on display
The woman in this portrait wears gold, ball-shaped earrings, a golden braided chain and a necklace made up of rectangular emeralds with alternating gold details. Her rich red tunic has a black gold-edged stripe at her right side: this is a clavus, a sign of status in Rome. The artist records her...
Not on display
This picture is either a copy of a mid-seventeenth-century Dutch painting, which is now lost, or an imitation or pastiche. As the paint contains a pigment that was not available to artists until the 1840s, it was most likely painted in the second half of the nineteenth century.The picture has pre...
Not on display
A young man kneels before a richly dressed woman enthroned in a classical alcove, and looks at a portable organ sitting on the step beside him. She is an allegory of Music and, along with Rhetoric (National Gallery, London), was part of a series showing the seven liberal arts that was painted for...
This portrait by Jean-Léon Gérôme is of his younger brother, Claude-Armand, who is dressed in the uniform of the École Polytechnique, a prestigious school of higher education in Paris. It is related to an almost full-length portrait that was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1848 and which is now...
On display elsewhere
Two naked children appear to be bathing in a pool beneath a dark tree set against a cloudy, moonlit sky. A third child, who is clothed, sits on the bank near a patch of red that may be a fire.It is likely that this picture was painted by a late nineteenth-century imitator of Theodore Rousseau and...
On display elsewhere
The brutal fight between the Lapiths and the centaurs, as described by the first-century Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses, is displayed on this panel. The story starts with the wedding feast of Pirithous, King of the Lapiths. During the celebrations, the centaur Eurytion, drunk and possessed...
Not on display
Angry to find that the Temple of Jerusalem was like a market because of the money-changers and dove-sellers trading, Christ drove them out using a whip. Here he is poised in the centre, right arm raised above his head, about to strike a money-changer who has fallen on one knee. His table has tipp...
Not on display
Pale flowers glow in a soft light against the dark wall of an anonymous room. Pink hollyhocks flaunt dozens of tiny petals. Delicate white poppies face out towards us, the yellow pistil holding our gaze like a tiny eye. Above them a tall stem curves upwards, fat little buds clinging on to it, the...
Not on display
Paintings of life on the frozen waterways of Holland during the Little Ice Age were very popular with collectors at the time. Many artists, usually known for painting rivers or landscapes, produced them, and Adriaen van de Velde was one of the most successful. But in this painting he has concentr...
Not on display
Salome displays the severed head of John the Baptist as his executioner places it in a footed bowl. Her mother Herodias, who held a grudge against John the Baptist for saying her marriage to Herod was unlawful, persuaded Salome to ask for this grisly prize from Herod as a reward for her dancing (...
Not on display
Because of the presence of a signature and a date, this painting was once thought to be by Jan van Goyen, one of the great Dutch marine painters of the seventeenth century. Both, however, were found to be false and have been removed, so the picture is now attributed to an unknown follower.Small b...
Not on display
We are looking through a gilded arch into a small chapel in which the Virgin is breastfeeding the Christ Child to an angelic musical accompaniment. She cradles him in her arms, and looks down affectionately as he hungrily squeezes her breast.This is one of around 60 versions of a lost painting by...
Not on display
In this scene inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Andromeda, daughter of the Ethiopian queen Cassiope, is about to be sacrificed to placate a monster summoned by Neptune, god of the sea. The hero Perseus appears at top left on his winged horse Pegasus, preparing to kill the monster and rescue the d...
Not on display
A bearded man wearing a yellow tunic trims vines that have been trained to grow up two trees. The branches of the vine are bare, while the trees have a few brownish leaves. Pruning vines is an activity carried out in Italy in winter when the plant is dormant, and in spring when the new leaves hav...
Not on display
This monumental painting shows a large crowd awaiting the results of a lottery draw, which is taking place on the balcony of the Palazzo di Montecitorio in Rome. A man has released the winning ticket into the air – you can just make out a small piece of paper fluttering towards the excited group...
Aert van der Neer was one of the most successful specialists in moonlit landscapes, and this is one of many he painted. The moon here has appeared only briefly, breaking through a tiny gap in a cloudy sky. The cool light creates a contrast between the deep darkness in the shadowy outlines of the...
Not on display
The Roman goddess Diana threatened death to any man who saw her bathing. Actaeon, who came across her in a forest pool by accident, was turned into a stag and torn to pieces by Diana’s hounds.In this painting, the figure beside Diana looks more like a satyr (a mythical creature – half man, half g...
Not on display
These musical angels were originally at the top of the left wing of an elborate altarpiece that sat at the high altar of the Abbey of St Bertin in Saint-Omer, northern France. Beneath them Guillaume Fillastre, abbot of St Bertin and the altarpiece’s commissioner, knelt at prayer inside a Gothic b...
A young man kneels on a river bank, struggling to pull a large, wriggling fish out of the water. Behind him an angel points to the fish, and is clearly instructing him what to do with it. This is the story of Tobias and the Angel as told in the apocryphal Book of Tobit. Following the angel’s dire...
Not on display
You've viewed 30 of 2,646 paintings