EYE CANDY

Inside the Private Rooms Where Spanish Kings Stashed Their Porn

Lady Revealing her Breast.jpg
Museo Nacional del Prado

For the kings of 16- and 17-century Spain, one of the job’s best perks was access to a sala privada – a room for their private collections of artwork, which they often eagerly filled with nude portraits that the Catholic church publicly considered a sin. The royals’ prurient-minded tastes are partly why disrobed compositions proliferated among the Old Master painters, from disturbing scenes like Rubens’s “Rape of Europa” to more tender moments like Tintoretto’s “Lady Revealing Her Breast.” Many ended up at the Prado, Spain’s national art museum, which is now sharing its fleshy bounty with Williamstown, Massachusetts, where “Splendor, Myth, and Vision: Nudes from the Prado” is on full-frontal display at the Clark Art Institute until October. Take a peek, here.

1
Circle of Anthony van Dyck, “Diana and a Nymph Surprised by a Satyr,” 1622–27. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
2
Peter Paul Rubens, “Nymphs and Satyrs,” c. 1638–40. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
3
Domenico Tintoretto, “Lady Revealing Her Breast,” c. 1580– 90. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
4
Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrik van Balen, “Abundance with the Four Elements,” c. 1600–1615. Oil on panel.
Museo Nacional del Prado
5
Francesco Furini, “Lot and His Daughters,” c. 1634. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
6
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), “Susannah and the Elders,” c. 1617. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
7
Guido Reni, “Saint Sebastian,” c. 1617–19. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
8
Jan Brueghel the Elder, Frans Francken II, Hendrik van Balen, Jan Brueghel the Younger and others; “Sight and Smell,” c. 1618–23. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
9
Jacopo Tintoretto, “Susannah and the Elders,” c. 1555. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
10
Peter Paul Rubens, “Fortuna,” 1636–38. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
11
Jacob Jordaens, “Marriage of Peleus and Thetis,” 1636–38. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
12
Peter Paul Rubens, After Titian, “Rape of Europa,” 1628–29. Oil on canvas.
13
Jacopo Tintoretto, “Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife,” c. 1555. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
14
Peter Paul Rubens, “Rape of Hippodamia or The Lapiths and the Centaurs,” 1636–38. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
15
Francisco de Zurbarán, “Hercules Defeats King Geryon,” 1634–35. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado
16
Titian, “Venus with an Organist and Cupid,” c. 1550–1555. Oil on canvas.
Museo Nacional del Prado