- Reference number
- Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Spanish)
- Felipe IV
- 198 cm x 101,5 cm
- On display
- Colección Real .
An official portrait of Felipe IV with the classical elements of court portraiture, this painting shows him dressed in black with a wide collar and follows the line of certain portraits of Felipe II made by Antonio Moro. The desk on which he rests his right hand, along with the paper it is holding, allude to his work as a ruler and are a direct reference to his daily activity. A hand resting on his sword suggests his responsibility to militarily defend his kingdoms.
This is one of Velázquez's first portraits of Felipe IV and was made soon after he arrived in Seville. The monarch's youth contrasts with successive portraits from his mature years. The mastery of space, with the figure placed in an undefined room, is perfectly achieved and foreshadows the artist's finest portraits, although here he corrected the position of the feet and the way the cape drapes in order to make the image more slender.
Velázquez made several similar portraits of the king. This one was documented in the Buen Retiro Palace in 1700 and has been at the Prado Museum since 1828.