Federigo Zuccaro was invited to Madrid by Philip II. to execute some frescos in the lower cloister of the Escurial, which, failing to give satisfaction to his royal patron, were subsequently effaced, and their place supplied by Pellegrino Tibaldi; the king nevertheless munificently rewarded him. One day, as he was displaying a picture of the Nativity, which he had painted for the great altar of the Escurial, for the inspection of the monarch, he said, "Sire, you now behold all that art can execute; beyond this which I have done, the powers of painting cannot go." The king was silent for some time; his countenance betrayed neither approbation nor contempt; at last, preserving the same indifference, he quietly asked the painter what those things were in the basket of one of the shepherds in the act of running? He replied they were eggs. "It is well then, that he did not break them," said the king, as he turned on his way—a just rebuke for such fulsome self-adulation.