By RICHARD CUMBERLAND, Author of The Anecdotes of Eminent Painters in Spain.

LONDON: Printed for C. DILLY, in the Poultry; AND J. WALTER, Charing-Cross. M.DCC.LXXXVII.


THIS Catalogue was made at my request by the Gentleman, who has the superintendance of the Royal Collection in the Palace at Madrid; and by his favour transmitted to me after my return out of Spain, but too late to be inserted in my Anecdotes of Spanish Painters: There can be no doubt therefore of its being accurate; and I have accordingly so stated it in the title of this publication. If the descriptive part had been executed by [Page iv] the same hand, I might have safely re­commended this performance even to Professors of the Art; I must now ad­dress it to the Lovers only, and sub­mit my weak attempt, with all its errors, to the candour of the Public.



1. Great Stair-Case; by D. Cor­rado Giaciunto.

THE composition of this bril­liant ceiling represents the rising of the Sun: Apollo, sur­rounded by various allegorical fi­gures and emblems, gives life and motion to the Elements. Spain, as a matron, habited in an imperial [Page 2] mantle, with several attributes and insignia proper to her character. The colouring, drawing and design very masterly.

The stair-case itself is a very magnificent work, projected and executed by the celebrated Sabatini, a Neapolitan, Architect to His Ca­tholic Majesty.

2. Great Guard-Chamber; by D. Juan Bautista Tiepolo.

Vulcan forging the armour of Aeneas at the request of Venus: Mars, in a triumphal character, su­perintending and protecting the work. Various figures, emblema­tic of the Provinces, Religion, Va­lour, Victories and Productions of Spain.

3. Ball-Room; by Corrado.

In the center of this ceiling Re­ligion is seated, and the Church triumphant, enthroned amidst the clouds; to which Spain is offering gifts and incense in an attitude of adoration: The nations, subject to her empire, are introduced with their respective emblems: In the four corners are the Elements, in medallic compartments: Over one of the entrances there is a group of various figures, with Boys em­ployed in placing crowns of palm upon the principal characters: Over another entrance, Hercules is de­scribed in the act of pulling down his pillars at the command of Nep­tune, who in his chariot passes the [Page 4] Streights, making his way through the barrier of antient navigation. This is a very brilliant design, rich and glowing in colour and execu­tion, and producing a very superb and striking effect.

4. King's Anti-Chamber; by Tie­polo.

The Monarchy of Spain, as a majestic Matron in an imperial mantle, with a Lion at her side: An attendant figure in the act of placing a crown on her head: Apollo with his lyre and the Muses form a separate group: Castile in the character of a female, with her proper attributes: Hercules break­ing down his pillars for the purpose of laying open the barrier of Africa: [Page 5] Sacrifices and Oblations repre­sented in four medallic compart­ments, and addressed to the Deities, who appear in the principal com­position.

5. Grand Saloon; by the same Master.

The painter has here personified the various characters of the Spa­nish monarchy: The figures are emblematic of Power, Religion, Wealth, Plenty, Victory, &c. &c. The provinces of Spain are disposed over the cornice with their proper attributes: The medals in the an­gles are by the same master; but the Boys that support them, and the naked River-Gods, as likewise the gilt compartments, where the Ele­ments [Page 6] are represented, are by the hand of Robert Mitchell. This ceil­ing and all the embellishments are profusely rich and splendid.

Tiepolo was a student of the Ve­netian school, and died at Madrid, in the king's service, on the 27th of March 1770.

6. King's Dining-Room; by A. R. Mengs.

The Apotheosis of Trajan. The deified Hero is seated on a throne of resplendent glory: The virtues and attributes of a perfect monarch surround his throne: A chaplet of laurel is supported in the air by five imaginary beings, under which the artist has contrived to deli­neate the victories of this imperial [Page 7] Spaniard: The temple of Immor­tality appears in view, and the choir of Muses are seen in the act of ce­lebrating his glories. Other alle­gorical figures are interspersed in the composition with extraordinary judgment and contrivance.

7. King's Supper-Room; by the same.

The Apotheosis of Hercules. He is conducted by Mercury to Jupi­ter, who invests him with the crown of immortality, as a reward for his labours and conquests: A group of Deities assist in the ceremony; the distinguishing characteristics of the several Deities, male and fe­male, are marked with great taste and much classical precision: The [Page 8] artist has given proof of his pro­found study and experience in the antique: The colouring, perspec­tive, and general disposition of these two ceilings are inimitable: There is no crowd, flutter, or deficiency in the whole or part; the several groups conspire and harmonize in the most perfect and beautiful man­ner; the eye is not distracted by any predominance of detached parts, but receives the whole magnificent composition, as one compleat pic­ture, at a glance.

These Frescos (especially the Apotheosis of Trajan) are, as I conceive, far superior to his Paint­ings in oil; and in this province of his art, Mengs appears a very ca­pital master: I have never seen any [Page 9] thing equal to them; and so admi­rable they appeared to me upon re­peated visits, that I must believe there are few productions in art, which can better gratify the curio­sity of a traveller. One thing is clear, that Mengs's colouring in fresco is totally of another cast from what he practised upon can­vass.

8. King's Retiring-Room; by Tiepolo.

Juno in her car, with her proper attributes, &c.

9. Queen's first Anti-Chamber; by Luis Velasquez.

The four Cardinal Virtues, with several allegorical accompaniments. [Page 10] This painter must not be confound­ed with the famous Diego Velas­quez.

10. Queen's second Anti-Chamber; by Antonio Velasquez.

The subject nearly corresponds with the above, and the artist has treated it pretty much in the same manner: Both are respectable per­formances. Antonio was the bro­ther of Luis Velasquez.

11. Queen's Dining-Room; by Francisco Bayeu.

The Conquest of Grenada.

12. Presence-Chamber; by Ant. Velasquez.

Christopher Columbus in the act [Page 11] of offering the new-discovered World to the Catholic Sovereigns: The four compartments in the an­gles represent the provinces of Mexico, Peru, Chili, and the Phi­lippines.

13. State Bed-Chamber; by Mengs.

Another beautiful composition of this master, representing Aurora going forth in her car, drawn by horses: All the emblems of Morn­ing are exquisitely conceived: The breaking forth of Light (which is personified), the accompaniment of the Hours, the group of Night and her attendant emblems in the rear of the procession, and all the cor­respondent embellishments in high [Page 12] relief, are finely executed: In these are represented the four Seasons of the year, and the Elements.

14. Prince of Asturias's Chamber; by Tiepolo.

The Conquest of Vellocino.

15. Prince's Dining-Room; by the same.

Hercules in a car, drawn by Centaurs: The Muses and Graces celebrate his victories.

16. Prince's Saloon; by Domingo Tiepolo.

Diana in the chace. Domingo was the brother of Juan Bautista Tiepolo.

17. Prince's Dressing-Room; by Mariano Maella.

The Choice of Hercules.

Maella was a disciple of Mengs, and is now in the service of the King as Royal Artist: He has made several portraits of the royal family. I have seen some good original compositions of this mas­ter, and several copies from Mengs and the elder painters of great me­rit and truth: I am convinced he is a man of talents and candour, and could refer to a striking in­stance of his honour and integrity. I would recommend it to any ar­tist, or lover of art, who shall visit Madrid, to introduce himself to the acquaintance of Maella, from whose [Page 14] courtesy, I am persuaded, he will receive all possible good offices and assistance.

18. Princess of Asturias's Anti-Chamber; by Gonzalez.

The Arts.

19. Princess's Presence-Chamber; by Bayeu.

The Fall of the Giants.

20. Princess's Cabinet; by Maella.

Juno solicits Aeolus for the Winds.

21. Princess's Drawing Room; by Bayeu.

The Deification of Hercules: The Virtues and Sciences attend.

22. Infant Don Gabriel's Dining-Room; by the same.

Religion and the concomitant Virtues.

23. Infant's Drawing-Room; by Luis Velasquez.

Allegorical composition relative to the kingdom of Spain.

24. Infant's Cabinet; by Domingo Tiepolo.

A group of Birds, with great variety of composition, and deli­cately executed.


King's Anti-Chamber.

Titian. Two large pictures of Sisyphus and Prometheus in their torments: the figures above hu­man size: They were painted by this master in Spain, and are fi­gures of great force, colouring and expression. The manner of treat­ing the Prometheus much resembles that of a celebrated picture on the same subject at Kimbolton Castle: As the noble owner has no deter­mined tradition of its author, I shall hazard a conjecture, that it [Page 17] was painted by Rubens upon the idea of this figure of Titian's, after that artist had visited Spain.

Titian. Four half-length pour­traits of Women, not in his bright­est manner.

Titian. Four pourtraits of Men, seemingly of the same period; one of which is a pourtrait of the great artist himself in his advanced age; a grand and venerable piece.

Titian. A pourtrait of a Boy, full length. Correct and beautiful nature.

Titian. Two fancy composi­tions, companions; the figures half length: One, two Bacchants; the other a Venus, admiring herself in a [Page 18] Mirror, which Cupid holds up to her face. With one of her hands she presses her bosom, which is un­covered, and the action is delicately expressed. These pictures hang level with the eye on each side of a door fronting the great entrance; the effect is remarkably striking, the relief bold, and the colouring nature itself; but perhaps the exe­cution has not that finished delica­cy, which many of his earlier com­positions have: The characters, both of one and the other, are cer­tainly of a wanton cast; the per­son half-uncovered, half-concealed, with such a studied negligence of dress, and so much playfulness of expression and attitude, that the draperies seem introduced sor no [Page 19] other purpose but to attract the at­tention more strongly to the charms they do not serve to hide.

Titian. Venus presents a cup to a Nymph: Two Satyrs in the back ground with baskets of fruit: This, like the former, is the Venus lasciva. The contrast of hues between the prominent figure and the Satyrs in shades is managed with masterly address.

All who are conversant in the works of this master will better conceive the striking effect of these three compositions, than any de­scription of mine can convey: In whatever collection they hung, they would certainly be very dangerous neighbours to most other colourists who came in contact with them.

Titian. Adam and Eve in Pa­radise; the size of life; a very ca­pital picture, upon a large canvass; both figures of consummate beauty, and of a sublime and chaste charac­ter; their attitudes simple, natural, without any trace of the Academy in their disposition: The carna­tions are not florid, and the whole hue of the piece rather duskier than is usual with this master: The back-ground presents a noble land­scape; the scenery finely character­ed, and in beautiful harmony.

Rubens. A copy of the above on a cloth of the same size; this copy hangs between the windows in an unfavourable light, and op­posite to the original. It is a mas­terpiece of colouring, and though [Page 21] it has missed the delicacy of the model, I am inclined to think it has surpassed it in force and effect. It is evident that Rubens has put his whole strength to the work, and as his efforts have been decidedly ad­dressed to the colouring, his figures have a broader nakedness (if I may so express it), than they have in the original; whereas there is a purity in Titian's nakedness, which is in character with the subject, and fully corresponds with the most refined conceptions of human nature in it's primitive state of innocence and beauty: When we contemplate Titian's Adam and Eve, we are convinced they never wore cloaths; turn to the copy, and the same per­sons appear to have laid theirs [Page 22] aside, and exposed themselves to shame for the credit of the painter.

Tintoret. Two noble composi­tions from sacred history, compa­nions. The one a Judith, with the head of Holofernes; the other, a Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and her companions: The characters in both are of great grandeur, finely conceived and executed with pecu­liar brilliancy and spirit.

Paul Veronese. Two charming pictures, and the subjects beautiful. One, a Venus and a Sleeping Ado­nis; the other, Cephalus and Pro­cris, both natural size.

Juan Labrador. Two flower-pieces of the best master Spain ever [Page 23] produced in this stile of painting. These pieces are held in high es­teem; and, though in company with works of a superior cast, will attract the admiration of the be­holder. It has never been my chance to meet with any paintings of the like sort, which I have thought comparable to these of La­brador. He died at Madrid in 1600, at a very advanced age. (See Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 151.)

Pedro Orrente. A Nativity; a capital composition: This picture was removed from the chapel de los Reyes nuevos, belonging to the ca­thedral of Toledo. Orrente was a familiar of the Inquisition, and died in 1642, very old. He was a dis­ciple of Bassan; and greatly sa­voured [Page 24] and employed by the mi­nister Olivares: ‘"He coloured in the stile of his master, but in his choice of nature did not imitate his vulgarity of taste; in correct­ness of drawing, he has rarely been exceeded. He was buried at Toledo, where he died, and is deservedly to be numbered amongst the most eminent Spa­niards of his profession." (See Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 193.)

Bassan. Nine pictures of this master, viz.

  • Adam, naming the brute crea­tion.
  • Noah, introducing them into the Ark, its companion; both charm­ing pictures.
  • Two upon scripture subjects.
  • [Page 25] Four of rural and domestic scenes.
  • One, very beautiful, of Orpheus harping to the beasts.

These pictures have been drawn from the great collection of Bassans in the Buen Retiro; but it does not appear to have been a very ju­dicious selection, for they have certainly left many there of a supe­rior merit to these; particularly some upon historical subjects in a great stile, and which are probably the most capital of their master any where to be met with.

King's Dining-Room.

Velasquez. Five magnificent pourtraits, by this greatest of all the Spanish masters, adorn this stately [Page 26] chamber: It is altogether one of the most striking spectacles that can meet the eye; few scenes are to be found, that can better repay the curiosity of a traveller, and a stran­ger to the works of this great paint­er. The magnitude of these ob­jects, the force and vigour of their colouring, the proud character they are displayed in, the profuse splen­dor of the draperies, and (more than all) the stately horses, on which they are mounted, dressed out with such redundancy of embel­lishment, conspire to produce an astonishing effect; of these pour­traits, four are of royal person­ages, viz.

Philip III. and IV. and their re­spective Queens.

[Page 27] The last and best is the pourtrait of the Conde Duque de Olivares, minister of Spain and patron of the artist. There are etchings of all these pourtraits, copies of which I brought over from Spain.

Rubens. Philip the Third on horseback: A very noble pour­trait.

Vanlo. Philip the Fifth on horseback, and Queen Isabella on foot. The inferiority of this artist is rendered very conspicuous by the contrast of the capital pictures a­bove-mentioned.

Rubens. Four compositions of this master hang over the doors, viz.

  • [Page 28]A Hercules resting from his la­bours.
  • The Judgment of Paris.
  • Pluto in his car.
  • Apollo in his course; capital pieces.

The sculptures in this, and the anti-chamber above described, are numerous and fine: In the former there is a remarkable bust of Sene­ca by Bernini; and in this several of Roman emperors and empresses, antique; an infant Hercules sleep­ing, of exquisite workmanship, &c. &c.

King's Supper-Room.

Velasquez. The famous Family-piece of the Infanta Da Margarita of Austria, afterwards empress of [Page 29] Germany, with various other per­sons in different employments; a large group: The painter has intro­duced two dwarfs, and (what adds greatly to its value) he is repre­sented in person in the act of paint­ing the Infanta, whose pourtrait ap­pears upon the easel. ‘"It is related of this picture, that King Philip, with his own hand, painted the order of Santiago upon the dra­pery of Velasquez's figure, which order he was not till then possess­ed of. When Charles the Se­cond of Spain shewed this pic­ture to Luca Jordano, he ex­claimed with rapture and surprize, Sen̄or, esta es la Theologia de la pintura." (Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 37.)

[Page 30] A copy of this famous picture, upon a small scale, was taken for the late Lord Grantham, when he was ambassador in Spain, and brought over by his Lordship to England. It is to be hoped his successors in that station will follow his example, and obtain copies or drawings of other capital pictures in that kingdom.

Titian. Charles V. in complete armour; his lance in his hand, his vizor up, and himself mounted on a beautiful horse; he is preparing to pass his troops over a river, which is described in the scenery of the back-ground, of the size of life, upon a very large canvass: This picture sets all description at de­fiance, [Page 31] at least all such description as I can attempt: I cannot doubt its being the most capital pourtrait of the master, and has been so es­teemed by the best judges, who have seen it; there is reason to believe that Titian rated it as such him­self.

In the countenance of the mo­narch we read his history, or (which perhaps is nearer to truth) recol­lecting his history, we acknowlege the agreement of character in every line, and in the reflection of his features we find the painter has re­corded the annals of his life: Ne­ver was more expression of a mind committed to canvass. A pensive dignity prevails, traced with marks of pain and bodily decay: He is [Page 32] deep in thought; his eyes gloomy and severe, the lids heavy, inflated and remarkably low over the eye­balls; the under-lip projecting, and the mouth characteristic of revenge and resolution: He is advancing to give battle to the unfortunate Elec­tor of Saxony and the Landgrave, those opposers of his power and of his faith; external objects have no share in his attention; the whole man is engrossed by the deepest meditation: His lance is poised pa­rallel with the ground, and ranges along the side of his horse, with the point advanced beyond its breast; the action of the animal harmonizes with the character of his rider, slowly and composedly stepping forward, the head low [Page 33] and submitted, and the eye expres­sive of the most resigned obedience to his imperial master: All is calm and still in the scene, no flutter or disturbance in the objects; the co­louring, drawing and perspective are the life itself; the whole is such perfect nature, that art seems extin­guished by its own excellence.

Titian. Philip II. in armour, his infant Son raised in his arms, whom he is devoting to Fame, which is represented as descending from the skies, in the act of crown­ing the new-born prince with a wreath of palm: On a scroll are these words—Majora Tibi.—The artist has put his name to this pic­ture in the following words— [Page 34] Titianus Vecellius, Eques Caesaris, fecit.

Vandyke. The Infant Don Fer­dinand, on horseback.

Castiglione. Gladiators; very fine and spirited. This picture is doubt­fully ascribed to Castiglione, but my catalogue gives it to him with­out any remark.

Cavallero Maximo. Gladiators; its companion.—These two pictures hang over the doors, and have both great merit.

Titian. Venus and Adonis, and Europa on the Bull, its companion.—These also hang over the doors; and are beautiful pic­tures: Every spectator must regret that they are not brought down [Page 35] nearer to the eye; but these and many other instances occur of over­sights in the hanging of this collec­tion, which I am informed was ar­ranged by Mengs, and, as it should seem, with some partiality to his own performances.

King's Dressing-Room.

Velasquez. A group of Spaniards carousing. These rustic Bacchana­lians are evidently sketched from nature: Bacchus is introduced sit­ting on a cask, putting a garland on the head of a Peasant, who kneels at his feet: On his left hand is a group of five other rustics, one of which holds a goblet of wine, ano­ther a can, and another has a lea­ther bag slung across his shoulder; [Page 36] their faces are grotesque and savage, and strongly marked with the Cas­tilian cast of features: On the right hand of Bacchus are two fi­gures attendant upon him; one of these is naked, and sits at his back, leaning on one elbow, and in the other hand holding a narrow-bot­tomed drinking glass with wide lips; the other is in strong shade in the fore-ground, his face turned from the spectator, in a crouching attitude, embracing a large earthen amphora, which stands on the ground; both these figures are crowned with wreaths of vine; and the God, who has a mantle loosely thrown over his waist, has his whole head covered with a large cluster of broad vine leaves, [Page 37] in a grand and picturesque stile: His countenance is strongly charac­tered in the Moorish or Andalusian cast, with a broad nose, full lips, wide mouth, and black sparkling eyes: The figures are of the size of life. A very capital compo­sition.

Velasquez. A composition on the subject of Mercury and Argos: Its companion.

Velasquez. The Forge of Vul­can. The Cyclops are at work, and Apollo is introduced, who is disclosing to Vulcan the intrigues of Venus with Mars. The painter has here chosen a subject, which enables him to display his art in its sullest extent, and he has per­sormed [Page 38] it with consummate address. The effect of light and shade from the reflection of the forge, and the sparks which fly from their ham­mers, produce a striking effect. The athletic forms and dusky hues of the Cyclops are artfully contrast­ed with the beautiful proportions and fine tints of Apollo's person: The character of Vulcan is finely conceived, the story well told, and the group disposed with great judgment.

Velasquez. The celebrated pic­ture of the Tapestry-workers, or women weaving tapestry; a won­derful representation of nature in the best stile of the master, and of his clearest colouring.

Velasquez. The famous Aqua­dor, or Water-bearer of Seville. One of his earliest productions, (See Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 6.)

Velasquez. Two pourtraits of Dwarfs, sitting on the ground. These Dwarfs belonged to Philip IV. One has a large volume be­fore him, and is turning over the leaves; by his side are pen and ink and a common-place book. A correct resemblance of deformed nature.

Velasquez. A full-length pour­trait of an Old Man with papers in his hand, said to be the Alcalde Ronquillo.

Velasquez. Two full-length [Page 40] pourtraits of dignified characters. Very fine.

These compleat the number of ten pictures by this master here brought together, and though there may be superior pictures of Velas­quez in this palace, in the Escorial, and particularly the Dead Christ on the Cross, in the monastery of San Placido, yet there can no where be seen such a collection of his works under one view; and whatever lover of the art shall enter this room, I am persuaded he will not depart from it without a very high respect for this illustrious Spaniard.

Murillo. Two large and fine compositions on scriptural subjects, viz.

  • The Annunciation, and
  • The Nativity.

Murillo. Two small ditto, very delicately touched, and finely co­loured, viz.

  • The Espousals of Ma­ry the Mother of Christ, and
  • An Infant Jesus sleeping.

Murillo. A Jesus with St. John the Baptist, in his last and best manner: An exquisite piece; mid­dle sized.

Murillo. A Holy Family, large size.

Murillo. A Virgin half-length, with the Infant Jesus entire, stand­ing.

Lanfranc. An Assumption, with a Glory of Angels; small size; very beautiful. Ponz, in his Di­rectory, calls this a Guido.

Vandyke. Two pourtraits of La­dies of the Austrian house, in the religious habit of the Royal Carmel­itish convent: One of them appears to be the Infanta Don̄a Margarita: Both half-lengths.

Titian. Three half-length pour­traits of noble persons.


  • Saint John,
  • Saint Bartholomew,
  • Mary Magdalene, and
  • Mary of Egypt.

Exquisite samples of a master, whose merit cannot be fully known but to those who have seen his works in his native country.

Luca Jordano. The Flight into Egypt.

[Page 43] Abraham sacrificing his Son, its companion.

David Teniers. Four landscapes, with a great variety of figures; ex­cellent.

There is also a picture, by a master unknown, in the Flemish stile, a composition of great labour and minuteness, after the manner of Brughel; representing a cabinet surnished with a variety of pictures, statues, flowers, and articles of dif­ferent sorts, highly finished.

Mengs. A Nativity, the figures of the size of life.

This is his celebrated picture, which the king has covered with a magnificent plate of glass: It was painted at Rome, and sent from [Page 44] thence to Madrid. In the person of one of the Shepherds, the artist has introduced his own pourtrait: The whole is laboured with amaz­ing care and study, and very ten­derly coloured: His miniature-edu­cation is conspicuous in this per­formance, and the Infant is remark­ably diminutive and delicate: The subject perhaps precludes origina­lity, and it does not seem to be attempted. It is scarce necessary to add, that this picture is a great court-favourite; all the works of Mengs are generally extolled in Spain, and this the most: I have observed, however, that the opi­nions of mankind at large, with re­gard to his rank in the list of artists, run much into opposite extremes; [Page 45] and this is generally the fate which eminent men experience in the judgment of their contemporaries: This does not seem to proceed from any want of present capacity to as­certain the degrees of merit in men, before Time has pronounced upon them with more authority, but is rather owing to the good and evil passions of mankind, to their lik­ings and their antipathies, to an affectation of singularity, and a vanity to be thought a leader in taste, and a discoverer of latent merit; surprised by these motives into sudden applause, we commit ourselves to it with a warmth which, though it frequently cools, we dare not disavow, and thus become par­ties [Page 46] in the reputation we are pledg­ed to support.

Mengs. An Incarnation, its companion: This also was painted in Rome, and transmitted from thence.

King's Closet.

Teniers. Twenty-four pictures of this much-admired master, small in size, but of admirable execution, hang in this room, and form of themselves a most valuable collec­tion.

Two of these are satirical and lu­dicrous allegories on the subject of the Arts.

Two others are much in the same [Page 47] stile, and represent the temptations of Saint Anthony.

The rest are landscapes of vari­ous sorts, with figures and cattle: Of these I shall not offer any de­scription, which scenes of this sort do not admit of like pictures upon historical subjects. The eye of the artist will dwell upon them with de­light. If we may suppose for a mo­ment that this whole magnificent collection was at sale, perhaps these pictures of Teniers would be a­mongst the very first that modern virtuosi would reach at.

Wouvermans. An exquisite picce: The landscape a most beautiful country, with men and women, dogs and horses, and all the concomitants [Page 48] of a rural wake and merry-mak­ing.

Segers. A grand Flower-piece.

Brughel. Eight beautiful pic­tures: Three of these are Flower-pieces; the other five, small fabu­lous compositions, with nymphs adorned with garlands of flowers, and various embellishments, rich and luxuriantly coloured: The whole a most captivating collection of a favourite master.

In this closet is a painted Cabi­net, which would demand longer examination than I could devote to it; it is by a Flemish hand, but the master's name has escap­ed me, and my manuscript cata­logue does not mention it: It [Page 49] is esteemed a master-piece in its kind.

Passage-Room to the King's Bed-Chamber.

Alonzo Cano. A Dead Christ, supported by an Angel.

This noble Spaniard may be styled the Michael Angelo of Spain; for he was architect, statuary, and paint­er, and excelled in each. For his life, which is curious, See Anecdotes, vol. ii. p. 72, &c.

Murillo. Head of an Ecce Homo.

Do of a Madona; both small pieces, very fine.

A single figure of the tutelar Saint James to the knees; excel­lent; [Page 50] in his best and brightest man­ner.

Spagnolet. Saint Francis de Asis, half-length.

Saint Geronimo, a companion.

Amongst all the works of this artist, whether here or in the Esco­rial, I have not met one, which did not engage my admiration; and I was surprised to find him as great a master of grace and beauty, as he is of effect.

Cavallero Maximo. A Magda­lene, half-length.

Mengs. A Holy Family, large size.

Baroccio. A Last Supper, small, and of exquisite delicacy.

Leonardo da Vinci. Herodias with the head of John the Baptist; half-length, small size, very fine; but its originality doubtful.

Luca Jordano. A Madona, half-length, with the Child sleep­ing; Saint John kissing his feet, and Saint Joseph in the back­ground: An oval, painted in the manner of Raphael; a charming piece. A very curious sample of the imitative powers of this inge­nious painter.

Joseph de Arpino. The Martyr­dom of Saint Ines; a glory, with Saints and the Blessed Virgin in the clouds. Clement VIII. made this painter a knight of Christ, and Louis XIII. of France gave him [Page 52] the order of Saint Michael: He died at Rome in 1640, aged eighty years.

This chamber being only a pas­sage-room between the dressing-room and bed-chamber, is lighted only from the glass doors, and very unfavourable to the excellent pic­tures it contains.

King's Bed-Chamber.

Mengs. The king has here strongly marked his predilection for Mengs, by admitting none but his paintings to hang in this cham­ber. These consist of six composi­tions of the size of life, and two small ones, viz.

  • A Descent from the Cross; both the Marys and Saint John are re­presented: [Page 53] The air and expression of the head of Saint John very ca­pital, but closely copied from the Elder Mary, in a painting of Van­dyke's on the same subject, which was long in Mengs's hands, and now in my possession. In my opi­nion this composition is far the best of all his paintings in oil, that are in this palace.
  • The Eternal Father, enthroned amongst the Angels in heaven: This hangs over the picture above-mentioned.
  • Christ praying in the Garden;
  • Christ appearing to Mary Magda­len;
  • Christ falling under the Cross;
  • Christ scourged. These four hang over the doors.

[Page 54] Two small pictures; one a Saint John, the other a Magdalen; highly finished and well coloured. Of the pictures over the doors I cannot speak in commendation.

King's Retiring-Room.

Vandyke. Pourtrait of a woman; small size.

Guido. An Ecce Homo; a head, very fine.

Velasquez, A Boy, full-length, with a dog.

Peasant Boys, eating and drink­ing, of the size of life; half-length: In the back-ground a clear and beautiful landscape.

Paul Veronese. Two small pour­traits.

Titian. Two small pourtraits.

Poussin. An old Bacchanal; ini­mitable: A landscape in the back-ground.

Brughel. A most beautiful col­lection of landscapes with historical figures, eight in number; amongst these there is a Venus and Vulcan, very fine.—The Arts.—A Saint John the Baptist preaching, ca­pital.—The Baths of Diana; the scenery most charming.

Teniers. Twenty small compo­sitions of this master, which, with the others above mentioned, make this cabinet inestimable.

Berbedel. A small picture of a Dead Christ; very fine.

Queen's first Antichamber.

Lanfranc. A large and capital composition representing a Royal Funeral, supposed to be that of A­lexander, whose body is laid out in state, and in front a fight of Gladia­tors, of the size of life.

Lanfranc. The Election of a Successor, in which is introduced another combat of Gladiators: Both noble performances, in the best stile of the Master.

Lanfranc died at Rome in 1647, aged 66 years.

Guido. Love and Avarice, per­sonified in the characters of two Boys; very beautiful.

Poussin. A very celebrated com­position, representing a grand Bac­chanalian Sacrifice; priestesses per­forming rites at the altars of Bac­chus and Priapus: The landscape undescribably rich and fine; a large-sized picture.

What a noble subject had this been for our late incomparable Woollet! What a study for Ar­tists! a picture formed to captivate all beholders.

Jordaens. Two allegorical Paint­ings over the doors, viz.

  • Wantonness, in the character of a Fawn.
  • Plenty, described by sundry fe­male figures bearing fruits and flowers; very like Rubens.

Titian. Philip the Third, of Spain;

A Venetian Cavalier; two excel­lent pourtraits.

Paul Veronese. Pourtrait of a Lady.

Youth, between Virtue and Vice; very fine.

Vandyke. Pourtrait of a man, full-length.

Velasquez. Two pourtraits of Buffoons, full-lengths.

Alexander Andriens. Four small pictures of Still Life, highly fi­nished.

Corrado. Original Sketches of the Ceilings of the Grand Staircase and Ball-Room.

Luca Jordano. Four composi­tions from the History of Samp­son.

Three do of the Elements.

One large Historical Piece on the Subject of Solomon.

A small composition of Hercu­les drawn by Centaurs.

A Companion, on the Story of Cephalus and Procris.

Rubens. A large and capital composition, on the subject of Or­pheus harping to the Brutes.

This is truly an inestimable pic­ture, giving such a display of co­louring as can hardly be conceiv­ed: It was painted by him in Spain, in his best age and manner.

Flemish, Painter unknown. Three landscapes, and one large do.

Queen's Second Antichamber.

Lanfranc. Julius Caesar haran­guing his Soldiers, large size: This picture does honour to the school of the Caraccis.

French School (Painter unknown.) Two large compositions; a public entry, as it should seem, of some ambassador.

Luca Jordano. Esau selling his birth-right to Jacob.

Bathsheba in the bath.

Carlo Maratti. Two half-lengths of women with baskets of flowers; very beautiful.

Cavallero Maximo. A sacrifice for Bacchus.

Andrea Vasari. The Life of St. Catherine, in four compositions.

A Magdalen.

Spagnolet. A Saint Barthole­mew, half-length; horribly fine.

Corrado. Two original Sketches of Frescos.

Two large Landscapes over the doors, of great merit.

Brughel. Two most charming Flower-pieces.

Jordaens. A capital composi­tion of Fruits and Flowers, with a Female Figure to the knees.

Queen's Dining Room.

Luca Jordano. The Martyr­dom of St. Lawrence, large size; four compositions from the History of the Blessed Virgin.

A Saint Peter.

A Mary Magdalen.

A Transfiguration.

A Saint Michael, being the ori­ginal design for the great alter-piece in the King's chapel.

A Battle-piece.

Vasari. Two small compositions from the Story of Saint Cay­etan.

Corrado. Three original Sketch­es of Frescos.

Teniers. An Armoury; very fine.

Teniers. A very curious and ca­pital picture, in which the Artist has drawn himself sitting in his painting-room, where is a grand collection of statues, pictures, and designs; which, without doubt, is a pourtrait in all particulars.

Of all the pictures of Teniers, I have ever seen, this I think the most to be coveted and admired: Another excellent subject for an engraving.

Brughels. Four fine Sea Pieces.

Two Landscapes.

One do, of a large size.

Three small Flower-pieces; a very valuable collection.

Queen's Great Sa [...]

Titian. A full-length pourtrait of the Emperor Charles V. on foot, with a large mastiff, painted at Bo­logna before Titian entered into his service, and as he was on his way to Rome. To this pourtrait Titian applied his utmost art, and his success paved the way to the favour, in which he was ever after held by the Emperor.

Zelma, a Spanish Artist of great merit, has engraved this pourtrait very finely: It is bound up with the new publication of Sepulveda's Works; in which is contained the History of Charles V. written in pure Latin, with other matters, historical and miscellaneous, of a [Page 65] very curious nature: This work is comprised in four quarto volumes, and was published whilst I was in Spain.

Titian. Philip the Second of Spain; a capital pourtrait.

Pourtrait of a man, half-length.

Do of a woman, do.

Rubens. The Rape of Proser­pine; a capital composition.

A Garden Scene, in which he has introduced his family; the fi­gures small.

A magnificent composition, ex­hibiting a very fine Landscape, in which he has introduced a priest in the act of carrying the viaticum to a dying person: The priest is [Page 66] mounted on a horse, which is led by a count of Augsberg.

This is one of the many ca­pital pictures of this master to be found in Spain, which have con­spired to impress me with the high­est veneration for his talents. Per­haps I have already tired the reader with too many attempts at describ­ing objects, which interested my feelings upon the contemplation of them; and therefore, altho' few occasions can offer, which might better warrant the endeavour, I shall venture upon nothing more than to recommend it to the tra­veller, who shall visit this collec­tion, if he condescends to take this Directory in his hand, to stop at this picture; and if he bestows his [Page 67] attention upon it, I am persuaded he will not withhold his admi­ration.

Velasquez. Four capital pour­traits, full-length, viz.

  • Margaret of Austria.
  • Philip the Second.
  • Philip the Third of Spain.
  • An African commander, suppos­ed to be the famous Barbarossa.

Luca Jordano. Four great His­torical Pieces, on the subject of Solomon.

Three sabulous compositions, viz. Pluto in his car; Jupiter; and a Daedalus.

Jordaens. Still Life; Fruits, and various Viands.

Corrado. Sketches of emblema­tic Figures; Justice, Peace, &c.

Flemish. Two large and fine Landscapes.

Queen's Bed-Chamber.

Vandyke. Christ betrayed and seized by Judas and his followers, a night-piece.

Mengs, in his Observations upon the Royal Collection, particularizes this picture; and says it is painted with great taste, and coloured to as great a perfection as the scene, which is by night, will admit of. Undoubtedly it merits the warmest admiration, and is a very capital picture of the master.

Luca Jordano. Four, Histories from the Life of St. Anthony.

Two, from that of Solomon.

Two, of the Blessed Virgin.

Two, of St. Nicholas de Bari, and St. Francis Xavier.

Two others, of the Incarnation.

Pedro Orrente. Orpheus harp­ing to the Brute Creation; very fine.

Of the School of Guido. Christ laid in the Sepulchre.

Vasari. The four Cardinal Vir­tues.

St. Rosalia, supported by An­gels.

Carlo Maratt. St. Anthony ador­ding the Infant Christ; a very [Page 70] charming picture; a close copy of his master Andrea Sacchi.

Paul Veronese. A capital Paint­ing of Susanna and the Elders.

Prince of Asturias's Saloon.

Luca Jordano. Four small Pic­tures; two of which are Battle­pieces; one, a Rape of the Sabines; and the other, a Curtius leaping the gulph.

A Seneca expiring in the bath, dictating to his disciples in his last moments.

I believe the picture at Burleigh is a fac-simile of this; but I did not carry it sufficiently in mind to be sure of the assertion.

Velasquez. St. Anthony convers­ing in the Desart with St. Paul the Hermit;

A celebrated figure of the God Mars; both capital.

Spaniolet. Esau selling his Birth­right, finely treated, with great ef­fect of light and shade, and strong expression of nature.

Lanfranc. Two magnificent De­signs, viz.

  • A Naval Combat in an amphi­theatre;
  • A Pagan Sacrifice; in which a Roman Emperor is officiating in person; masterly and bold compo­sitions; large.


Mercury and Argos.


School of Rubens. A Triumph, in which is introduced a combat of Gladiators, male and female.

Two compositions upon the Al­legories of the Senses and Ele­ments.

Jordaens. A Pomona; the sce­nery very beautiful.

Prince's Dining-Room.

Velasquez. Vulcan at his Forge.

The Prince of Spain mounted on a beautiful Spanish Jennet, in full speed. The spirit, which the paint­er has thrown into this pourtrait, and the truth, with which it is drawn and coloured, render it a most admirable piece of art. I have an etching from this pour­trait.

Velasquez. A grand and cele­brated piece of history, upon a very large canvas, representing the fa­mous General Pescara receiving the keys of a Flemish citadel from the Governor of the place; the groupe of Generals, Soldiers, Citi­zens, Horses, &c. and the striking effect of the town and landscape in the back-ground, all in the most harmonious perspective, have esta­blished the fame of this noble pic­ture, in the opinion of judges, as one of the first, if not the very first, production of the master. Mengs says decidedly that it is the chef­d'oeuvre of Velasquez, and has pro­nounced it to be faultless, except in the circumstance of the soldiers' lances, which he criticises as being [Page 74] too long: Surely this is a very trivial remark, to fall from the pen of so great authority, and, trivial as it is, there is great reason to doubt if it is founded in truth. Af­ter all, if the painter has enlarged upon the actual height of Pescara's lances for the purpose of effect, who would expect that any eminent critic, after pronouncing the com­position faultless in every noble part, would seriously state this re­mark as a single exception? Let us therefore admit, with Mengs, that Velasquez has taken a wrong mea­sure of Pescara's lances; but at the same time let us take his word for the perfection of the picture in every other respect. If any lover of the art, who resorts to this col­lection, [Page 75] should at the same time dis­cover that there is one foot in the famous Pasmo de Sicilia more than can be accounted for, I hope for his sake it will not abate the rap­ture he would else receive in the contemplation of such unrivalled compositions.

Velasquez. Philip the Second of Spain;

Philip the Third; both full-length pourtraits, by the same great master; and both very fine.

Two full-length characters, of Aesop one, and the other of Mae­nippus; of the strongest expression, and in a great stile. Of these two I have etchings.

Two half-length pourtraits; one [Page 76] of which is a very interesting and curious picture of the unfortunate Antonio Perez: It hangs near the pourtrait of Philip the Second.

A View of the Palace of the Par­do, in which he has introduced the persons of Philip IV. and the Prin­cess Margaret of Austria. This compleats a list of ten paintings by Velasquez in this chamber; few apartments can be more royally furnished.

Pedro Mazo. A perspective View of the City of Saragossa, with the course of the river Ebro, and a group of figures; a fine and ela­borate piece.

Titian. Six pourtraits; four of men and two of women, all half-lengths.

Titian. An Orpheus; this pic­ture is highly celebrated: Of his best age and manner.

Tintorett. Judith and Holofernes; capital.

Solimena. Six histories of Solo­mon, over the doors.

Murillo. An Old Woman sell­ing grapes;

A Country-fellow selling wine; both half-lengths.

These are reputed to be the most finished heads Murillo ever painted; they are the nature itself, coloured to a miracle.

The Infant Don Gabriel has co­pied them in sifted cloth with great truth and exactness, and has hung [Page 78] them in his lodge at the Escorial. There are also good engravings of them taken in Spain, of which I have copies.

Antony Coypel. The Elders ac­cusing Susanna.

Spagnolet. A small copy from Raphael.

Wouvermans. Two most beau­tiful Landscapes; companions.

Teniers. Two Alchymists; very fine:

Two small Paintings; compa­nions.

A large and most capital Land­scape.

Brughels. Two charming Land­capes, with variety of animals.


Teniers. Eight small Sketches; two of them Landscapes.

Brughels. Eight Flower-pieces.

Ten small Landscapes; some with fabulous stories introduced.

Pedro Orrente. Four Landscapes with figures; esteemed very ca­pital.

Murillo. An Old Woman peel­ing a lemon; half-length: A very natural character; much admired.

Corrado. Four Sketches of de­signs in fresco.

Vato. Two Landscapes with fi­gures, personating Peace and Plenty.

Flemish. Still life; Fish and sundry Viands.

Prince's Dressing-Room.

Raphael. The celebrated pic­ture called PASMO DE SICILIA, purchased by Philip the Fourth of the Monks of Palermo, and by him termed La Joya, in preference to all others! An annual-rent of one thousand scudi was the price at which the king purchased it of the monks of our Lady dello Spasimo; and hence it got the name of Pasmo de Sicilia. Vasari, and the cele­brated canon of Valencia, Don Vi­cente Victoria, and in late times Mengs, have all written largely in testimony of its unrivalled excel­lence; and there seems a general [Page 81] concurrence amongst the judges of the art to set it down as the master-piece of Raphael. In my second volume of the Anecdotes of Spanish Painters I have collected several cir­cumstances relating to this famous picture, and attempted a description of it, which, if the reader is disposed to, refer to will be found in vol. ii. from page 172 to 182, inclusive.

Rubens. The Adoration of the Magi.

This picture, like the Last Supper of Titian in the Refectory of the Escorial, is the standard work of its master. It was begun in Flanders; enlarged, retouched and finished during his embassy in Spain; no­thing that his art, genius and in­dustry [Page 82] could effect is omitted: In grandeur of design, display of colour­ing, dignity of character; in com­position, drawing, perspective, har­mony, it is a model of excellence: Rubens, in putting his last hand to it, has inserted his own pourtrait amongst the groupe of the Magi; the noblest signature that could be set upon his canvass.

The figures are the size of life.

Rubens. A Holy Family; a groupe of Female Saints and Boys in vari­ous employments: The scenery and embellishments of this rich and noble composition are admirable.

Vasari. Five historical pieces, taken from the Story of Saint Caye­tan; companions.

Murillo. A large Holy Family; the Mother and Saviour to the knees.

Spagnolet. A celebrated picture, representing the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew; a master-piece of ana­tomical art and terrible expression.

A Saint Benito, and a Saint Ge­ronimo, both penitential characters, finely designed, and of the tenderest expression; a striking contrast to the Saint Bartholomew.

A Mary Magdalen; a touching and most delicate design, conceived and executed with all the grace of the Italian student, and all the na­ture of the Spanish master.

The genius of Spagnolet, like his fortune, seems always to be engaged on subjects either of terror or of pity; [Page 84] he never draws but with a tragic pencil, and so truly, that he gives the nature itself upon his canvass: In melancholy grace and penitential beauty he is equal to Guercino; in anatomical science and muscular correctness he ranks with Leonardo de Vinci, and in the sublime and terrible approaches to Michael An­gelo. The examples of his art, which he has left in Spain, if they were generally known, would, I am per­suaded, warrant what I now venture to say; and for his life and misfor­tunes, which are very interesting, I beg leave to refer once more to the Anecdotes, vol. i. page 197.

Andrea Sacchi. A Nativity; a large and capital composition.

Mengs. A Nativity; large size.

Luca Jordano. An Incarnation.

A Flight into Egypt.

Vandyke. A Mary Magdalen, small size, under a groupe of Angels in the Clouds.

An historical composition from the Story of Saint Rosalia.

Poussin. A Saint Cecilia; full length.

Titian. An Ecce Homo; also A Mater dolorosa; capital heads.

Gerard Sepez. A Virgin, with Flowers thrown round, in a frame.

Albert Durer. A Virgin, dead; the Apostles are introduced as minister­ing on the occasion. A very curious and claborace piece of art.

Leonardo de Vinci. A Madona and Child, half-length; also

A Madona with the Child, full-length and erect; very fine.

Andrea del Sarto. A Madona, something more than half-length, with the Child entire.

A small Holy Family, from Ra­phael.

Vasari. A Nativity; small.

Brughels. An Adoration of the Magi; also

The Descent into Egypt, compa­nions, small size.

A Madona, with Chaplets of Flowers, in frame-work, highly esteemed.

Palma. A Madona and Child; a person is introduced who presents [Page 87] his family in adoration of the Infant Saviour; a capital picture.

Juan Antonio Regilio, called Bor­donon. A Madona and Child; vari­ous Saints adoring; half-length; very fine.

Pedro Cortona. A Magdalen, size of life.

Carlo Maratt. A Saint Rosalia, size of life.

The Oratory.

Salvator Rosa. A Madona and Child, with Saint Joseph; a capital picture.

Luca Jordano. A large Altar-piece; Our Saviour bearing his Cross; also

Two Side-pieces, viz. an Annun­ciation, and Nativity.

Andrea del Sarto. A Holy Fa­mily, very beautiful.

Prince's Bed-Chamber.

Daniel Crispio. A Dead Christ sup­ported by his Mother, an Angel weeping over the body; a large piece.

Raphael. A Madona, of small size, embracing the Child.

Corregio. Christ praying in the Garden;

A small picture, but of inexpres­sible beauty, and magical effect of colouring. It has been particularly celebrated by Mengs in his Remarks. The figure of Christ receives its light from a Glory; the scene is by night; a reflected light from the Sa­viour [Page 89] strikes on the Angel, who is attending for his consolation: The manner in which this emanation is reflected and diffused through the piece to the extremities of the back­ground, and the exquisite gradations observed in its distribution, are in the highest degree characteristic of the master. Mengs remarks, that Christ and the Ministering Angel are the only figures which meet the eye upon a first view; a closer examina­tion brings forward many other ob­jects and much beautiful scenery. This is truly observed; for the Troop that come to seize our Saviour, the Apostles standing aloof under the shade of Trees, the Foliage of the Grove, the Herbage of the Garden, a Crown of Thorns, a Cross fixt in the [Page 90] earth, and several other emblematic objects suitable to the action, come by degrees into view, and start up like visions created by the fancy of the spectator rather than by the pencil of the artist.

Corregio. A Madona and Child, with Saint Joseph at a distance.

Mengs observes that this may be called a sketch, as it plainly appears that the attitude and action of the Mother and Child have undergone several alterations in point of dispo­sition; by a peculiar management of the middle imperceptible tints in this small, yet inestimable paint­ing, there is produced a very won­derful effect of size and grandeur, from figures which do not measure [Page 91] two inches. Mengs pronounces that Corregio possest this art of treating lights and shades in the first degree; Velasquez in the second to Corregio, and Rembrandt next to Velasquez: He adds, that the Child in this sketch is a model of consummate excel­lence, not only from the incom­parable management of the Clear-obscure, but also from the colour­ing, character, drawing and divine grace. Of the outline he speaks with rapture, and remarks that Corregio, in this most difficult branch of his art, was never equalled by any but the great Michael Angelo and Ra­phael Urbin.

Corregio. A Head of Saint John; of a sweet character, and beautifully treated.

Leonardo de Vinci. A Madona and Child, small size;

A Holy Family; also

A Madona and Child, and Saint John; beautiful samples, and in fine preservation.

Rubens. Two Heads of Old Men; sketch-like and very grand.

Andrea del Sarto. A large Holy Family, from Raphael.

Julio Romano. A Holy Family, the size of life; consisting of a Ma­dona and Child, Saint John and Saint Joseph. The composition and drawing is attributed to Raphael, the finishing to Julio Romano.

Vasari. Two small historical pieces, from the Story of Saint Cayetan.

Velasquez. A large and noble com­position, representing the Crowning of the Holy Mother of Christ.

Titian. Saint Margaret and the Dragon, large size; a brilliant com­position; also

Mary worshipping Christ, in his first stile.

Guido Rheni. Saint Denis with his Cross; a large and capital piece.

Mengs. A Flight into Egypt; large size.

Claudio Coello. Saint Fernando worshipping the Virgin, who is seated on a Throne, with the Infant Jesus, in a rich and splendid Apartment; a beautiful Landscape is discovered in the back-ground: A large and fine composition, painted with great [Page 94] expression and effect, in the best manner of the master.

This painter was a native of Spain, out of which he never tra­velled; a disciple of Francisco Ricci, and royal artist in the court of Philip IV. His pictures are highly esteemed in Spain, and I have met some admirers of them, who do not scruple to prefer him to Murillo, Spagnolet, and even to Velasquez. His master-piece is the great picture in the sacristy of the Escorial, upon which he expended seven years la­bour: Of this, and many other anecdotes of his history, I have given an account, vol. ii. page 130, &c.

Paul Veronese. Jesus disputing with the Doctors in the Temple. This [Page 95] I conceive to be a picture of great beauty, majesty and effect; the com­position is full and finely disposed; the characters sublime and majestic, marked with striking discrimination and contrast: The architecture is superb; the colouring clear and of a most captivating brilliancy: The character of Christ is divinely con­ceived, and of matchless beauty. The picture is of large size, and a most capital performance of the master.

The Receiving Room.

Rembrandt. Cleopatra receives the Cup of melted Pearl from the Hands of a Female Slave. An in­estimable picture, in his finest stile; large size.

Spagnolet. A Combat of Gladi­ators. This picture is esteemed one of the very best of the master; it is a study for an Academy. The atti­tudes of the Combatants, the spirit of their characters, and the great truth and correctness of drawing, cannot be too much admired. The subject was well chosen to display the science of the painter in the muscles and proportions of the hu­man figure, naked and in the strongest exertion of manly vigour.

Murillo. A Judith with the Head of Holofernes; a Female Servant with a Light; half-length: This is managed with great skill and effect; it is a study from nature admirably executed.

Titian. Two most capital com­positions, celebrated through Eu­rope, and justly recorded by Mengs as the most consummate models of beauty. One represents a group of Boys and Cupids; the other of Bac­chanals; companions. ‘"The figures in each are of the third part of the natural size: In the fore-ground of the group of Bacchanals there is a young Female Reveller sleep­ing, of which Mengs speaks in rap­tures of admiration, and concludes his remarks on this picture by ob­serving, that all the harmonious accompaniments of Sky, variegat­ed Ground, with deep and tender shades of the Trees, form such an assemblage of beautiful objects in nature perfectly imitated, that he [Page 98] does not think the world possesses a better picture in this stile. The Boys and Cupids in the other piece are grouped with wonderful variety of attitudes; they are en­gaged in puerile sports under a Grove of Apple-trees, the fruit of which they have scattered on the ground, and are playing with it in the most gay and natural manner. It is equally excellent with its companion. These pictures were formerly in the Ludovici palace at Rome, and were a present to the king of Spain. Sandrart re­ports of this group of Cupids, that it served for a study to Do­meniquino, Poussin, and Flameneco; Albano has taken part of it into a composition of his painting, and [Page 99] there are copies of both these com­panions by Rubens in the palace: Of these Mengs says, that they are like an elegant author translated into Dutch, where the sentiments of the original may be guessed at, but all the grace is vanished." (Anecdotes, vol. i. p. 60.) What subjects for an eminent engraver!

Titian. Three pourtraits, half-length, one of a Man, another of a Woman, and a third of a Girl.

Leonardo de Vinci. Three exquisite pourtraits, three quarters. One of these is of Ann Bullen, exceeding beautiful, but of a wanton, sly cha­racter: The other two are also of Women.

Rubens. Two capital and full-sized Landscapes; in one of which he has introduced his own Family; the scene a Garden.

Two smaller ditto; in one a Diana in the Chace, companions; extreme­ly fine.

Brughels. Two small Landscapes; one representing an Allegory of Love and War; the other of Love protecting the Arts.

A third small Landscape, with a variety of Animals.

Luca Jordano. A large composi­tion on the subject of Love and War, in the stile of Rubens, whom he has introduced in the act of painting the very picture in question. A valuable and very curious picture.

Paul Veronese. Moses saved by Pharaoh's Daughter; a small piece, of great beauty and masterly com­position.

Mengs. Four pictures over the doors; viz. Morning, Noon, Even­ing, and Midnight.

Teniers. Two capital Landscapes, companions.

First Closet.

Mengs. Four pourtraits; viz.

  • The Reigning Sovereign;
  • The Prince of Asturias;
  • The Princess of Asturias;
  • The late Queen.

Vanlo. Three pourtraits (copies) viz.

  • The Infant Don Philip;
  • [Page 102] Queen Isabella;
  • The Consort of Don Philip.

Antonio Ynza. Four pourtraits, viz.

  • The Infanta Donna Josepha;
  • The Infant Don Gabriel;
  • The Infant Don Antonio; and
  • Don Francisco Xavier.

Second Closet.

Rubens. Six small sketches of his famous tapestry designs, representing the Triumph of the Church.

Albert Durer. Three curious pourtraits; viz.

  • Calvin,
  • Luther, and
  • His own.

Titian. A most lovely pourtrait of a Boy.

Basan. Two small compositions; one of the Adoration; the other, Christ praying in the Garden; both admirable.

Wouvermans. Two small land­scapes with figures, companions.

Anti-Chamber of the Princess.

Luca Jordano. The miraculous Draught of Fishes;

Christ purging the Temple;

Absalom caught by the Hair;

David and Abigail.

Four Battle-pieces, small size: In one of these he has represented Francis I. of France taken Prisoner.

[Page 104] A composition, emblematic of the Four Quarters of the Globe.

Rubens. A large and capital pic­ture upon the Story of Marsyas and Apollo, Pan and Faunus in the group.

The Story of the Centaurs; very capital.

Two companions; viz.

  • Saturn, and
  • The Rape of Ganymede; small size.

Two small pictures, companions; viz.

  • An Icarus and Apollo, and
  • A Narcissus; beautiful.

A large composition on a scrip­tural subject, of which there is a copy by Murillo.

Villa Vicenzi. A Scriptural Com­position, companion in size with the above, in the stile of Murillo. The name of this painter was Pedro Nu­n̄ez, a disciple of Mathias Preti, commonly called El Cavellero Ca­labrès. He died at Seville in 1700.

Flemish. A beautiful group of Fruits and Flowers; painter un­known.

Mazo. Philip IV. with his Queen and Dames of Honour: Mazo was a disciple of the famous Velasquez.

I have now gone through the Ca­talogue of this noble collection; and, as I have reason to think it is the only correct and entire account yet [Page 106] published, I hope it will be accept­able to the curious reader. Mengs's remarks only go to a few pictures, and the account of them in the Viage de Espan̄a, by Don Antonio Ponz, is very far from perfect, though it is a work otherwise replete with in­teresting information; and, as a ge­neral directory to travellers in Spain, no book can be better contrived.

If the lovers of the art are curi­ous to analyze this account, and se­parate the respective works of the several great masters, they will find it to be a vast collection, which the Spanish monarchs Charles V. Phi­lip II. III. and IV. amassed within the periods of their reigns: And if we add to this the great collection in the Escorial, that of the Buen-Retiro, [Page 107] the many fine pictures which were burnt in the Pardo, and some of the most capital which have been discarded in the present reign, the amount will appear prodigious, and, I apprehend, is not to be equalled by any other single collection in Europe.

Of Titian, Velasquez, Rubens, Mu­rillo and Spagnolet, I find above one hundred and forty pictures in this sin­gle Catalogue; forty-three of which are by the hand of Titian: I must take the liberty notwithstanding to suggest that this collection would still allow of many draughts to be made; and if these vacancies were filled up from the Buen-Retiro only (not to mention the Escorial) it would be much more perfect. [Page 108] Some of Luca Jordano's pictures might well be spared; Corrado's sketches, the pourtraits of Vanlo and Ynza, and some of Mengs's inferior performances, would be well ex­changed for a select number of Bas­san's from the old Palace, for a ca­pital Lucretia by Guido, which hangs there in obscurity, and many others that might be named.

It is also to be regretted, that Ve­lasquez's famous picture of Jacob re­ceiving the bloody Coat of his Son Joseph, and a very fine Guercino on the subject of Susanna and the El­ders, both which now hang in a wretched hole in the Escorial, not appropriated to any sacred uses, should not be removed from thence, and added to the royal collection.

[Page 109] Advantageous changes might also be made in the arrangement of the pictures; for in the quarter belong­ing to the Prince and Princess many capital pictures of Raphael, Corregio, Leonardo de Vinci, Julio Romano, An­drea Sacchi, Andrea del Sarto, and others, are very unfavourably hung; the chamber in which the principal pieces are, being a mean obscure room, filled with lumber, and not in the suite of great apartments: The masters are classed, in general, with­out much scientific attention to their stiles of colouring; so that the florid pictures oftentimes brow-beat the more tender; and the cold, laboured regularity of Mengs ill contrasts the warm and glowing canvasses of Ti­tian, Rubens, and Velasquez. But if [Page 110] this remark holds good against the sorting of the pictures in this palace, how much more to be lamented is the condition of the capital pictures in the Escorial, where the inimitable Perla of Raphael, the Holy Family of Andrea del Sarto, and the famous Tintorett of Christ washing his Disciples' Feet, hang aloft in dust and darkness over the presses that contain the Reliques in the Sacristy, and are almost totally out of sight. This must be painful to every lover of the art, but to the English tra­veller more than any, who will na­turally cast a look of pity and af­fection towards these interesting ob­jects, once in the possession of an elegant and unhappy monarch, who left them as monuments of his [Page 111] taste, to be alienated from his crown and nation by an unfeeling crew of fanatics, as barbarous as they were bloody.

It is to be regretted, that so few engravings have been taken from the capital pictures in Spain; I procured all that were to be had, and the col­lection is very small: Two more may be soon expected by the hand of Zelma, an eminent artist; viz. of the Pasmo de Sicilia and the Perla: The Nra Sen̄ora del pez has been en­graved by Bartolozzi. It were greatly to be wished that proper encourage­ment should be given to our young artists of talents to take drawings of some of these pictures above de­scribed; in which I am confident they would meet every possible fa­vour [Page 112] and protection from the royal owner of the collection. Several pictures might be pointed out in this Catalogue, and elsewhere, which would be admirable subjects, and raise the credit of our artists, already so high in estimation: At the same time that I venture to recommend this undertaking, I am not without some grounds to hope that it is in contemplation.

I should here take notice, that in the above Catalogue no account is taken of the pictures in the apart­ments of the Infants Don Gabriel; Don Antonio and Don Luis: In the former there are six Sacred Histories by Luca Jordano, from passages in the Life of the Virgin Mary; also an Absalom, and a small sketch by [Page 113] the same hand; two sketches by Cor­rado; a Saint Joseph, with the young Jesus about ten years of age, by Spagnolet; a Saint Sebastian and a Magdalen, by the same; Charles V. haranguing his Army, by Titian; Or­pheus harping to the Beasts, by Ru­bens; and a Vulcan, by the same ma­ster; with a large Flemish painting of Still Life, finely coloured, and capital in its stile.

In the quarter of Don Antonio there are several by Luca Jordano on sacred as well as fabulous story: A pourtrait of a Youth in Armour, by Vandyke; another of Carreno, after Velasquez; and a composition, after Rubens, on the subject of Moses and Pharaoh's Daughter.

[Page 114] In the apartments late appropri­ated to Don Luis we find the copies which Rubens made of Titian's fa­mous pictures of the Cupids and Bac­chanals above described, and which Mengs so tauntingly compared to a Dutch translation: There are several others of the same master, particu­larly a Saint George slaying the Dragon, of the size of life, coloured with surprising brilliancy, but in a gaudy stile and flattering. Amongst the works of Rubens there is an Ar­chimedes, a Mercury, Hercules kil­ling the Hydra, Apollo and Pan, and two pourtraits of Ladies of the House of Medici, with some sketches; two pourtraits by Vandyke, one very capital of the Infant Don Ferdinand. There is a Woman, with [Page 115] several boys, in the manner of Leo­nardo de Vinci; a Scriptural Piece by Paul Veronese; a Christ, of the size of life, with the Cross, by Guido; a pourtrait of a Woman, by Titian; of a Man, by Vandyke; and some beautiful Flower-pieces by Brughel.

Having mentioned some pictures cast out of the royal collection, which I saw in the custody of an artist belonging to the king, it may be proper to observe, that they con­sist of five capital Titians; the first of which is his inestimable Venus, once the property of King Charles I. of England, described in the Anecdotes (vol. i. p. 56.) the greatest model of beauty and perfection in the world: 2. A Venus and Cupid, with a Per­son in the back-ground playing on [Page 116] an Organ, the Venus recumbent on a couch: 3. A Venus of the same size, attitude, &c. with the addition of a little Dog, which she is caress­ing: 4. A Venus in the action of holding back Adonis in her embrace, who is setting out for the chace with his dogs, &c. 5. A Danae, naked, re­ceiving the golden shower: There is also a half-length pourtrait of Ti­tian, by his own hand. Besides these, there is a Venus, by Paul Ve­ronese; and an Adonis and Cupid, by Annibal Caracci; an Atalanta and Hippomenes in the Race, by Guido, of consummate beauty: The figures are of very tall life, the outline as glittering as Corregio, the limbs di­vinely graceful, and the air of the heads unspeakably elegant and ex­pressive; [Page 117] the attitudes perhaps have more of the academy than might be wished, the colouring warmer than his usual hue. Of Rubens there are several, and such as would dignify the first collections in Europe; viz. The Rape of the Sabines; The Baths of Diana; a Bacchanalian Tri­umph, wherein several Bacchants are plucking fruits, and the figure of Bacchus himself in a capital stile; a Perseus and Andromeda, which is a wonderful picture; a group of Juno, Minerva, and Venus; Paris carrying away Helen, capital; and The Judg­ment of Paris, with the Rival God­desses, a matchless piece of colour­ing; all of the size of life, and the very best of the master. There are [Page 118] also two beautiful pictures by Al­bano; one of them The Judgment of Paris; the other a Venus coming out of the Bath; and a Lot and his Daughters, by Andrea del Sarto. I need not observe what an accession these inestimable pictures might be to the collection in the palace.

The royal chapel of the palace is a very beautiful piece of archi­tecture, supported by vast columns of Biscayan black and white marble, each of one entire block; and in the sacristy and chaplain's room there are several fine pictures by Spagnolet, Murillo, Luca Jordano, Corrado, Cambiaso, Alonzo Cano, and other Spanish masters; besides which there is a Descent from the Cross, by Al­bert [Page 119] Durer; and a Conversation-piece of Saint Anthony and Saint Paul the Hermit, by Andrea Sacchi.

Old Palace of the Buen-Retiro.

In the chamber called de los Rey­nos, there are twelve large Battle-pieces by Spanish masters, and the Labours of Hercules, boldly exe­cuted by Francisco Zurbaran.

In the anti-chamber to the queen's apartment there are two large pic­tures by Luca Jordano, some by Rico a Neapolitan, and the representation of an Auto de Fé by Francisco Rizi; a Roman Triumph, by Bor­giani; and a fine pourtrait of Hen­ry II. of France, ascribed to Titian; also pourtraits of Ferdinand and Isa­bella.

[Page 120] In the chamber of Castrillo a Tantalus and an Ixion, both by Spagnolet, colossal, and of striking expression; a view of Saint Peter's in Rome, Saint Mark's Place in Venice, and the Vatican, with the Pope and Cardinals in procession.

In a passage-room leading from this chamber there are some noble pictures of Snyders, John Tillen, and Peter de Vos; in the Hunting-pieces of De Vos there are several persons introduced with wonderful spirit and expression. A capital composition by Rubens of Hercules slaying the Hy­dra; the Queen Mother of Charles II. of Spain; two full-lengths of Charles V. by Juan Pantoia de la Cruz; two of Philip IV. of different ages; and one of a Buffoon, in the [Page 121] stile of Velasquez; several Sacred Histories, finely executed by Bassan, and some by Estevan Marc.

In a large room adjoining are two grand Historical Compositions by Pedro de Cortona, in both which he has introduced Pope Urban VIII. with his Cardinals, and views of the Vatican; two small compositions on the subject of Diana, by Titian, painted in his latter age; a Mercury and Argos, by Jordaens, and several excellent Bassans, and some land­scapes by Marc.

In the Court-room many pic­tures by Luca Jordano; a large Bac­chanalian piece, by Cornelius de Vos; a large Fruit-piece, of unparalleled execution and variety, representing [Page 122] the Golden Age, by Adrian Van Utrecht, with nine figures of the School of Rubens; also another ad­mirable piece of Fruits, Birds, &c. to which Van Utrecht has set his name and the date of the year 1642; Orpheus redeeming Eurydice from Hell, by Rubens; a capital Land­scape, signed with the Name of Jor­daens, in which he has represented Vertumnus and Pomona, naked figures.

In a small room next to this some copies by Luca Jordano, and a su­perb picture by Rubens, representing the Fall of the Giants; a Saturn de­vouring a Child, by the same. A fine composition, by Nicholas Poussin, with an Amphitheatre, and many [Page 123] figures, amongst which are four Ele­phants; and several other pictures, which I forbear to enumerate.

In one of the private chapels there is a fine Altar-piece by Vasari, with the Holy Family at full-length, admirably executed; other pictures by Luca Jordano and the Spanish masters.

In the passage to this chapel hangs an original drawing, by Raphael, of his famous Battle-piece of Constan­tine and Maxentius, now in the Va­tican; an exquisite Parmegiano of the Espousals of Christ with Saint Catherine; the Centurion at the Feet of our Saviour, a fine picture by Paul Veronese; a grand Head of Saint Jerom, by Guido; the four Evangelists, by Rubens; and sketches [Page 124] of the famous pictures he made for the Convent of Loeches, by com­mission from Olivarez; some heads of Martyrs by Spagnolet; several pictures by Corrado, and a very fine composition by Marc. All these va­luable pieces are buried in a dark lobby, and every spectator, who has a feeling for merit in obscurity, will regard them with a mixture of ad­miration and regret.

In the apartments of the Infants we again meet with several very fine Scriptural Histories, by Bassan, in a stile superior to any thing I have elsewhere seen of that master; some landscapes by Claud Lorrain, several large compositions by Sneyder, and a variety of pictures of the Spanish School.

[Page 125] In the passage to this apartment many curious pieces will be found; amongst them a Saint J [...]es, by Paul Veronese, very fine; a beautiful Ver­tumnus and Pomona, by Rubens; a half-length of a Woman with a basket on her arm, by Spagnolet; a Saint Francis, by the same; some excellent pourtraits by Leonardo de Vinci, and other old masters; a Boy and an old Woman, a candle-light, very capital, by Rembrandt; Pilate washing his Hands, by Guercino, a noble picture; and a Sacrifice to Po­mona, exquisitely finished, by Jacobo Jordaeno.

In a room adjoining there is a great collection of Sneyders, Bassan, Golze, Bosco, Dominichino, Francisco Perez, Luca Jordano, and others.

[Page 126] A Lucretia by Guido, full length, of the size of life, in the act of self-destruction; a matchless picture, that would dignify the first collection in Europe.

In this deserted palace are to be seen the celebrated frescos of Luca Jordano, supposed to be the very best of the master: The climate at least has been favourable to them, for they are in fresh and perfect pre­servation.

In the queen's chamber are some incomparable performances of Gas­par Poussin; a Firework in the Spa­nish Square at Rome, finely painted by Sebastian Conca; an Herodias, by Caravagio; a Hercules, by Caesar Tracarzane, and many others worth attention.

[Page 127] There is a grand sketch of Tinio­rett's famous Last Supper, in the quarter of the late Infant Don Luis; some fine Spagnolets, and two very curious Histories of Adam and Eve, the size of life, signed as fol­lows, Albertus Durerus Almanus fa­ciebat post Virginis partum 1507.

The Theatre, though now in dis­use, is extremely fine, and so con­trived as to admit of the whole back scene to be occasionally drawn off, and laid open to the garden: The paintings are by Amiconi.

From this imperfect account of the paintings in this deserted palace, it will readily be acknowledged, that it still contains a very respect­able collection, and that a superb gallery might be furnished by [Page 128] draughts of the capital pictures still remaining in it.

In the little suburban palace, called The Caso del Càmpo, are some curious Caprichios of the noted Ja­cobo Calot, representing the Temp­tations of St. Anthony, and an alle­gorical invention of Geronimo Bosch, which in wildness of idea exceeds every thing that ever fell from the pencil of an artist: The design is the Creation of Man, and the state to which his nature may be reduced by vice, the painter having described the human passions by a vast multi­tude of symbolical figures of Birds, Beasts, and monstrous compounds. The conceits of this moral and sa­tyrical humourist are infinite; a man of curiosity may amuse a leisure hour [Page 129] in the examination of them, but I am persuaded the reader will readily excuse me from attempting to de­scribe them.

The churches and convents of Madrid are possessed of very many fine paintings, and it is in them the works of the Spanish masters will be found in the greatest number and perfection: Several of them, how­ever, contain very capital produc­tions of the best Italian painters, and in particular the Convent of San Pasqual on the Prado, to which Cabrera, great admiral of Castile, bequeathed his whole valuable col­lection. There is a large Altar-piece by Guercino, superlatively fine, and several capital paintings on the [Page 130] altars and in the sacristy, by Jacobo Palma, Leonardo de Vinci, Titian, Andrea Schiavone, Paul Veronese, Guercino, Vandyke, Bassan, Luca Jor­dano and Spagnolet. A lover of the art must not omit to visit the Con­vent of San Placido, if it were only for the purpose of contemplating that wonderful picture of the Dead Christ on the Cross, painted by Ve­lasquez in the year 1638; though he will find further gratification for his curiosity in the same convent, which possesses two of the very best pictures which Claudio Coello ever composed.

As these churches and convents are very numerous, the research would be much too intricate and la­borious without a clue; but this will [Page 131] be so readily had in the Viage de Espana before mentioned, that a tra­veller has only to provide himself with those volumes, and he will there find an excellent guide for his curiosity.


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