- Reference number
- Rubens, Peter Paul
- Felipe II on Horseback
- Ca. 1630
- 251 cm x 237 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 109; Palacio Real, Madrid, pieza de comer, 1814-1818, s.n.).
A posthumous portrait of Felipe II wearing full body armor, a cape and a hat and riding a horse. Victory crowns him with laurels. The background alludes to a battle, probably that of San Quentín in 1557.
Inspired by the knightly ideas of the sixteenth century, this portrait is based on representations of Roman emperors that circulated on Flemish and Italian prints, as well as an image of Carlos V, Felipe II's father, who appears in one of the tapestries from the series The Conquest of Tunisia, designed by Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (Ca. 1500-1559).
This work was made in 1628 during the artist's second visit to Spain. Rubens used objects from the Royal Armory, including the armor and sword, which are the same ones used by Titian for his portrait of the same monarch (P411).
This work is listed in Madrid's Alcázar Palace in all the royal inventories since 1686. A strip at the top is an addition that was painted following the fire at that palace in 1734.