Whilst being a proud Spaniard, this battle was actually between Italy and the Netherlands, which he had learnt more about during his travels to the Papal States. His time here would help develop his reputation as well as his artistic skills.

The Italian Renaissance still loomed large, even during the later Baroque period, making visits to this region essential to any ambitious artist.

La Rendicion de Breda was the original Spanish title given to the completed oil painting and it was to become one of his most famous, though clearly not at the same level of the extraordinary Las Meninas.

The Surrender of Breda, which can now be found at the Museo Nacional del Prado, features a huge number of figurative drawings in a complex composition. The two drawings featured in this website help to explain his processes in putting the final work together.

In this example he practices one particular figure, one of the more prominent individuals at the foreground of the piece. He would only concentrate on each figure's outline in these quick sketches, not worrying about detail as he had done in other facial portraits.