El Greco To Goya : Spanish Painting (PB)
The National Gallery has one of the finest collections of Spanish paintings outside Spain, and El Greco To Goya: Spanish Painting features nearly all the pictures normally on display.
Haunting works by El Greco introduce the Spanish Golden Age of seventeenth-century art. The canvases by Velazquez span his career, with powerful royal portraits, religious works, and the Rokeby Venus, his only surviving depiction of a female nude. Bartolome Murillo - equally popular with British 18th and 19th-century collectors - is represented by some exceptional religious and genre paintings, together with his imposing Self Portrait.
Other works by Baroque painters, including Ribera and Zurbaran, reveal shifting uses of naturalism to express everything from the mysteries of faith to the grandeur of royalty to the beauty of the mundane. The later part of the collection includes paintings of wonderful quality, such as Luis Melendez's Still Life with Oranges and Walnuts. Three portraits by Goya, including that of the Duke of Wellington, show the artist's keen ability to probe personality and status, while two small works illuminate his fascination with both contemporary society and the fantastic.