Virtually explore the Prado with Smarthistory as your guide
videos + essays
The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables is the most famous painting by the most acclaimed Spanish painter of the latter half of the seventeenth century
An imagined garden teeming with curious creatures and bizarre structures. What are we to think?
Wild! Everything seems transient in this otherworldly scene, but El Greco’s bold colors stay with us.
Ribera depicts the moment before St. Philip’s death, yet the martyr’s body distorts and collapses before our eyes.
With its sumptuous foliage and gold detail, this painting celebrates the decorative and captures the spiritual.
Mantegna’s draped figures resurrect classical sculpture, but the landscape was from life—that’s Renaissance Mantua.
This puzzling painting about painting is half genre scene, half family portrait. But what’s on the large canvas?
Goya depicts the king’s family in scintillating detail… but the sparkle of the monarchy is beginning to fade.
Don’t strike the messenger! Interrupted at his forge, a horrified Vulcan looks ready to hammer Apollo.
Velázquez lends immediacy and gritty realism to a mythological subject. We are right there, ready to partake.
Goya’s taste in home décor is called into question by this cannibalistic meditation on the nature of power.
No paint touched those gloves! This portrait advertises Dürer’s skill—both the work of his mind and of his hand.