From 16th Century To 17th Century
The 16th and 17th centuries were a time of great change in the world of art. The Renaissance, which began in the 15th century, continued throughout the 16th century, and its influence can be seen in the art of the 17th century. The 17th century was also a time of great religious and political upheaval, which is reflected in the art of the time.
Cardinal Fernando Niño de Guevara (1541–1609)
This intense portrait depicts Fernando Nino de Guevara (1541 - 1609), who in 1596 was named cardinal and is dressed as such here.
In 1599 he became Inquisitor General of Spain but resigned in 1602 to serve the rest of his life as Archbishop of Seville.
The painting probably dates from the spring of 1600 when the cardinal was in Toledo with Philip III and members of the Madrid court.
Futuh al-Haramain (Description of the Holy Cities)
The Futuh al-Haramayn is a poetic description of the Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina, composed by Muhi al-din Lari in the early sixteenth century.
Often lavishly illustrated, it provides instructions on the hajj pilgrimage rituals and descriptions of important sites Muslim pilgrims can visit.
The Futuh was popular in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when it was mainly copied in the Ottoman realm from Mecca to Istanbul, and also in Central Asia and India.
Vanitas Still Life
This panel is generally considered to be the earliest known independent still-life painting of a vanitas subject, or symbolic depiction of human vanity.
The skull, large bubble, cut flowers, and smoking urn refer to the brevity of life, while images floating in the bubble - such as a wheel of torture and a leper's rattle - refer to human folly.
The figures flanking the arch above are Democritus and Heraclitus, the laughing and weeping philosophers of ancient Greece.
Engraved Lamp Stand with Chevron Pattern
The poetry inscribed around this lamp stand expresses mystical Sufi sentiments.
Lyrical verses from the Bustan (Orchard) of Sa'di are placed in three zigzag-shaped registers covering the shaft.
I remember one night as my eyes would not sleep I heard a moth speaking with a candle.
[Said the moth:] "Because I am a lover, it is [only] right that I should burn[But,] why should you weep and burn yourself up?"
"'Umar Walks around Fulad Castle, Meets a Foot Soldier and Kicks Him to the Ground", Folio from a Hamzanama (The Adventures of Hamza)
The Hamzanama recounts the fable of Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad who was a legendary defender of the faith.
This painting illustrates an episode involving 'Umar, a spy loyal to Hamza, who learns of a secret tunnel into Fulad castle from the soldier whom he has bested.
It comes from a multivolume, large-scale copy of the text made for the emperor Akbar that took approximately fifteen years to complete.
Unlike most books, its paintings were probably meant to be held up for an audience while a storyteller recited the text.
This canvas is conceived as a meditation on Saint Francis of Assisi (1181/82 - 1226), who is shown in a grotto on Mount La Verna, where he received the stigmata (depicted as protruding nails, in conformity with early Franciscan sources).
A key figure in the history of Italian painting, Barocci was close to the Capuchin order, and this deeply felt work must have been intended for a friar or a supporter of the Franciscan order.
Barocci was a slow, meticulous painter.
His work, with its compositional refinement, its warm humanity and deep expressivity, laid the groundwork for Baroque art
A Mountainous Landscape with a Waterfall
Unlike Jan Brueghel the Elder, who was a leading figure in the development of realistic landscape painting, Kerstiaen de Keuninck continued the Flemish tradition of imaginary mountain scenery that descended from Patinir.
This large panoramic landscape view, dominated by fantastic mountains and rock formations, is an early work of the artist and was probably painted in Antwerp.
It employs contrasting pictorial effects - such as heavy passages of opaque paint set off against areas sketched in a very thin medium - and bold motifs like the water spray formed by flicking the brush to suggest the sublime effects of Nature.