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30 of 2,648 paintings
In this painting, Raphael transforms the familiar subject of the Virgin and Child into something entirely new. The figures are no longer posed stiffly and formally as in paintings by earlier artists, but display all the tender emotions one might expect between a young mother and her child. The pa...
Not on display
A man has been crushed by a snake and lies dead beside a pond: his body is limp and his skin a greenish-grey. We see a man and woman whose gestures and movement show their fear and surprise. The way the landscape is constructed reveals the drama in stages: the running man sees the dead man and th...
The view is of Handeck, a hamlet in the Haslital valley in the Bernese Alps in Switzerland. We are looking south towards the Bernese Alps and its glaciers in the far distance. The Handeck Falls – for which the area is well known – can be seen in the narrow pass just below. The river in the valley...
The Gospel of Luke tells how after the Crucifixion, Cleopas and another of Christ’s disciples set out from Jerusalem for the village of Emmaus. They were joined by a stranger who recounted the prophecies concerning the Messiah’s death and resurrection. It was not until the three ate together late...
Not on display
Saint Catherine of Alexandria sits at a table reading a book. On either side of her are two angels: one holds Catherine’s traditional attribute of the spiked wheel on which she was tortured for her Christian faith, the other holds a martyr’s palm.The picture is a later version of a painting by Be...
Not on display
A muscular sea god, with dragon-like wings sprouting from his hips, is carrying off a naked woman. They are surrounded by winged infants known as putti and a host of marine divinities, some of whom ride on dolphins. Cupid aims an arrow at the couple in the centre. This is a working drawing, or ca...
Not on display
This painting by an unknown artist is based on Michelangelo’s drawing The Dream (Courtauld Institute, London). Michelangelo’s presentation drawings were made as gifts for his friends and were always intended as self-sufficient works of art. The Dream is probably one of an important group of such...
Not on display
The Three Kings have arrived to worship the newborn Christ. The Virgin Mary presents the baby, who has a bright halo of light around his tiny head, to the kneeling king, who takes the child’s small foot in his hand in order to kiss it. Spranger has positioned the two other kings around the mother...
Late in his career, Nicolaes Maes painted several small portraits in this style, often in an oval format. The background is dark, with a brown brocade curtain pushed to one side behind the sitter. A stylish young man confronts us with a direct gaze and half smile.We don’t know who this young man...
Not on display
This small picture shows the moment that Christ, resurrected after death, appeared to Mary Magdalene. Mary – identifiable by her red robes and her long, flowing hair – had gone to Christ’s tomb to anoint his body with spices. She found it empty. Christ appeared to her, but as she reached out he s...
A bearded saint in rich red and blue robes holds an open book. His halo, now rather worn, was burnished gold incised with decorative patterns; the edges and lining of his cloak, his sleeves and his neckline glimmer with touches of gold. His book with its fluttering pages has a dark green binding...
Not on display
There’s a delight in letting your eye wander across the vast landscapes of Koninck’s paintings and suddenly coming upon one of the tiny details within. In the foreground here, but still far away, are assorted animals and assorted people, some working, some chatting, some idling away the remaining...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary is seated on a bench, holding the infant Christ. He raises his right hand to bless Saint Francis, who kneels with his hands raised to reveal his stigmata – marks on his body which correspond to the wounds suffered by Christ during the Crucifixion.Saint Joseph, Mary’s husband, lean...
Not on display
This is one of 12 small pictures that together show the ‘labours of the months’ – the activities that take place each month throughout the farming year.In what we believe is the final painting of this series, a man wearing a white apron and holding a knife slaughters a grey pig by slitting its th...
Not on display
The scene shows the Annunciation, when the Archangel Gabriel told the Virgin Mary that she would conceive a son, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Ghost. Gabriel holds a lily, a traditional symbol of the Virgin’s purity, and points upwards to the golden rays which are directed towards Mary. These ra...
Not on display
Pintoricchio painted a number of images of the Virgin and Child of a similar size to this one. Their scale, high level of detail and decoration, and the sweetness of the figures made them highly desirable as beautiful objects and as aids for worship in the home.This one offers a view through an...
Not on display
This panel comes from the predella (the lowest part) of an altarpiece made for the church of San Domenico, Fiesole, near Florence. Its saints face right toward the central panel, which shows Christ in glory after his resurrection from the dead.The Virgin kneels at the head of the top row of saint...
Antoine Paris (1668–1733) was the son of a village innkeeper. With his brother Claude he helped provision French troops, eventually controlling all land and water transport supplying soldiers from Burgundy and the Auvergne. Antoine was appointed Royal Treasurer to Louis XIV in 1722, and this port...
Not on display
This panel shows Saint Romanus, who devised an ingenious system – shown here – to deliver food to Saint Benedict, who lived as a hermit. Saint Benedict stands waiting for the basket at the mouth of his isolated cave-dwelling. Both saints are painted with the same colours as the rocks – grey with...
In this altarpiece, Pittoni has depicted both the Nativity (the birth of Christ and his adoration) and the Trinity (God the Father, Christ and the Holy Spirit) – an unusual, but not unique, combination. It was painted around 1740, though we don‘t know for which church it was commissioned.Saint Jo...
Perseus and Andromeda’s wedding feast has been violently interrupted by Phineas, to whom Andromeda was formerly betrothed. Giordano has illustrated the dramatic moment when Phineas and his followers attack Perseus. Heavily outnumbered, Perseus has unveiled the severed head of the gorgon Medusa, w...
Not on display
This is the central panel of a small triptych (a painting in three parts), probably commissioned by Sir John Donne in the late 1470s. In it, he kneels before the Virgin and Christ Child, facing his wife Elizabeth and one of their daughters. They are accompanied by their patron saints Catherine an...
Winged Father Time unveils Truth, who is dressed in white and rests her foot on a globe, symbolising the Earth from which she has sprung. With her left hand, Truth unmasks Deceit, while with her right she gestures to the four cardinal virtues: Prudence, holding a snake; Temperance, carrying a wat...
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
The unknown young man in the portrait looks out gravely but with the hint of a smile about his mouth. He wears garments fashionable in 1657, the year the painting was made: a flat lace collar, the two ends of the stock that ties it peeping out below, and multiple buttons down the coat, left undon...
Not on display
The Virgin Mary sits on her mother’s lap, her attention focused on the wriggling Christ Child. Her mother, Saint Anne, looks intently at her through deep-set eyes and points upwards to the heavens, indicating the child’s divinity. Christ’s cousin, Saint John the Baptist, leans against Anne’s lap...
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