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Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain
Mor, Anthonis
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Mor, Anthonis

Utrecht (Netherlands), 1516 - Antwerp? (Belgium), 1576

See author's file

Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain

1560. Oil on canvas.
Room 056

Joanna of Austria (1535-73) was the daughter of Emperor Charles V, and sister of King Philip II of Spain. In 1552, she married her first cousin, the Portuguese Prince John Manuel (Joao Manuel). The prince died in January 1554, days before Joanna gave birth to their son, Sebastian, who would become King of Portugal from 1568 to 1578. In July 1554, Joanna returned to Spain to serve as regent in the name of her brother, Philip II, who was absent from Spain until September 1559. As she never again set foot in Portugal, the princess would only see her son in paintings and drawings sent from Lisbon. Characterised by her strong religious convictions and influenced by the future Saint Francis Borgia, Joanna entered the Jesuit Order in 1554 under the name of Mateo Sánchez. In 1555 she founded the convent of the Order of Saint Clare known as Las Descalzas Reales (literally, discalced or barefoot royals) in Madrid, in the same residence in which she was born. She resided in the convent from 1564 until her death in 1573, and was buried there. Unlike two earlier portraits of Joanna by Alonso Sánchez Coello from c.1557 (Schloss Ambras, Innsbruck; and Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao), this portrait was made when she was no longer regent, during the Flemish painter Anthonis Mor´s second sojourn in Spain between September 1559 and October 1561. The princess commissioned this portrait personally, and it remained in her possession until her death. In 1573 the painting was documented as the work of Anthonis Mor in Joanna´s collection at the convent of Las Descalzas Reales in Madrid. It entered the Royal Collections under Philip II. In 1600 it was recorded in the treasury of the Real Alcázar de Madrid (the residence that preceded the current Royal Palace in Madrid, which was destroyed by fire in 1734), and in 1854 it entered the Museo del Prado. According to contemporary accounts, Princess Joanna was strong-willed and a skilled ruler. In 1559, the Venetian ambassador to the Habsburg court, Federico Badoero, referred to the masculine quality of her character in the following terms: as regards her will, it is so virile that she reveals the sentiments of a man more than those of a woman. As Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend points out, although Joanna was renowned in Spain and abroad for her devotion, works of charity and her love of prayer and seclusion, she was nevertheless also very involved in the political life of the Spanish and Portuguese courts. Mor´s full-length portrait presents Joanna standing in a three-quarter view, looking towards her right. She wears a black taffeta gown in accordance with her status as a widow, a white snood that gathers her hair behind, and a veil draped over her shoulders and tied in front, as in Sánchez Coello´s portrait in the Museo de Bellas Artes in Bilbao. Hanging from the veil is a small golden pendant featuring a figure, which Jordan-Gschwend has proposed may be a shepherd with his crook. Others have interpreted the figure as Hercules with his club, in which case -as an image of the mythical founder of the Spanish monarchy- it would serve as a dynastic symbol. Joanna´s sumptuous dress, jewellery, cordovan leather gloves and lace-trimmed handkerchief, all indicate her rank as a princess, while the empty chair on which she rests her right hand symbolises the throne. Joanna´s stance is similar to that of her brother in Mor´s portrait in the palace of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Philip II in Armour 1557. Mor has placed Joanna in the close foreground, standing in the light before a dark background. The low angle from which she is framed and the slimness of her figure accentuate the sense of majesty in this portrait, which is one of the Flemish painter´s best (Silva, P.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 80).


Technical data

Related artworks

Museo del Prado, vista de una de las salas
Albumen on photographic paper, 1915 - 1930
Roig Villalonga, Juana
Inventory number
Mor, Anthonis
Joanna of Austria, sister of King Philip II of Spain
Height: 195 cm; Width: 105 cm
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1794, n. 1100)

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del R, [s.n, Madrid, 1834, pp. 62.

Hymans, Henri, Antonio Moro, Son Oeuvre et Son Temps, G.Van Oest et Cie, Bruselas, 1910, pp. 115-116.

Roblot-Delondre, Louise, Portraits D'Infantes. XVI Siecle. Etude Iconographique, G.Van Oest & Cie, París, 1913, pp. lám.44.

Pérez Pastor, C, Inventarios de los bienes que quedaron por fin y muerte de doña Juana, princesa de Portugal, infanta de Castilla, 1573, Boletin de la Real Academia Española, IX, 1914, pp. 315-380 [365] nº41.

Llanos y Torriglia, F.De, Portugal en el Museo del Prado. Separata, Asociacion Española para el Progres, Coimbra, 1925, pp. lám.4.

Marlier, Georges, Antonio Moro, Bruselas, 1934, pp. 96.

Exposiçao do mundo portugues: Portugal em Espanha (Obras de, [s.n], Lisboa, 1940, pp. nº6.

Nowe, H., Keizer Karel en Zijn Tijd, Museum Voor Schone Kunsten, Gante, 1955.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Friedländer, Max J., Early netherlandish painting, A.W.Sijthoff, Leyden, 1975, pp. 105 lám.191 n.394.

Delaforce, Angela, The collection of Antonio Pérez secretary of state to Philip II, The Burlington magazine, 124, 1982, pp. lám.23.

Breuer, Stephanie, Werke Sánchez Coello, Uni Druck, Munich, 1984, pp. lám.149.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 439.

Alonso Sánchez Coello y el retrato en la corte de Felipe II, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1990, pp. 138.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

Campbell, Lorne, Renaissance Portraits. European Portrait Painting in the 14t, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1990, pp. 244.

Woodall, Joanna, The portraiture of Anthonis Mor (Tesis inédita), Courtault Institute Of Art, Londres, 1990.

Checa Cremades, Fernando, Felipe II: mecenas de las artes, Nerea, Madrid, 1992, pp. 90.

Jordan, Annemarie, Retrato de Corte Em Portugal. O Legado de Antonio Moro 1552-1572, Quetzal Editores, Lisboa, 1994, pp. 107.

Sofonisba Anguissola e le sue sorelle [textos: Mina Gregori., Leonardo Arte, Cremona, 1994, pp. 136/ lám.21.

La monarquía hispánica: Felipe II, un monarca y su época, Sociedad Estatal para la Conmemoración de los Centenarios de Felipe II y Carlos V, Madrid, 1998.

Las sociedades ibéricas y el mar a finales del siglo XVI, Sociedad Estatal Lisboa 98, Madrid, 1998, pp. 218.

Las tierras y los hombres del rey: Felipe II, un monarca y su época, Sociedad Estatal Commemoracion de Los Centenarios de Felipe II y Carlos V, Madrid, 1998, pp. 204.

Silva Maroto, Pilar, Pintura flamenca de los siglos XV y XVI: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 2001, pp. 254-255.

Jordan, Annemarie, Los retratos de Juana de Austria posteriores a 1554. La imagen de una princesa de Portugal, una regente de España y una jesuita, Reales Sitios, 39, 2002, pp. 42-65 [61].

Sanchez-Ramon, Mar, Oriente en Palacio : Tesoros Asiaticos en las Colecciones Re, Oriente en Palacio .Tesoros Asiaticos en las Colecciones Reales, Patrimonio, Madrid, 2003, pp. 267-271.

Kusche, Maria, Retratos y retratadores: Alonso Sanchez Coello y sus competidores, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2003, pp. 39, 127.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El retrato español: del Greco a Picasso, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 329.

Mulcahy, Rosemarie, Philip II of Spain : patron of the arts, Four Courts, Dublín, 2004, pp. 273.

Woodall, Joanna, Anthonis Mor: art and authority, Waanders, Zwolle, 2007, pp. 379.

Ruiz Gómez, Leticia, En nombre del Rey 'El retrato de Juana de Austria' del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Buletina, 6.II, 2007, pp. 85-123 [116].

El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 400-401.

Renaissance faces : Van Eyck to Titian, National Gallery Company: Distri, 2008, pp. 286-287.

Zalama, Miguel Angel, Juana I. Arte, poder y cultura en torno a una reina que no..., Centro de Estudios Europa Hispanica, 2010, pp. 341.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 80-81 nº 1.

Pérez de Tudela, Almudena, 'El traje en la corte de Felipe II. Las infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia y Catalina Micaela' En: Vestir a la española en las cortes europeas (siglos XVI y XVII), I, CEEH, Madrid, 2014, pp. 321-362 [323].

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 360 nº 349.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: The Golden Age in the Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokio, 2018, pp. n.23.

Other inventories +

Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, 1834. Núm. 1100.
INVENTARIO GENERAL DE LOS CUADROS DE S.M. EXISTENTES EN LA GALERÍA DEL REAL MUSEO [...] DEPÓSITO ENTRESUELO [...] [Fol. 423] Mil ciento. Retrato de la Princesa Dª Juana de Portugal, vestida de negro con guantes y pañuelo / Antonio Moro / Lº / 4.000

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 1100.
Otra [pintura] de Pantoja, retrato al natural de la Princesa Dª. Juana de Portugal, de dos varas y tercia de alto y vara y quarta de ancho...100

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 1488.
1488.-(1792-R.)- Retrato de la Princesa Doña Juana de Austria, hija de Carlos V, viuda del Prícipe del Brasil, D. Juan, y madre del Rey D. Sebastián; con ropa de seda negra, en pié, la mano derecha sobre una silla, y en la izquierda los guantes y el pañuelo. -Figura de cuerpo entero y tamaño natural. / Col. de Felipe III, Valladolid.-F.L. / Alto 1,95; ancho 1,05.-L.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1792.
Moro. 1792. Retrato en pie de la emperatriz doña María, muger de Maximiniano 2º trage negro comun, la mano derecha apoyada en un brazo de la silla, y en la izquierda los guantes y el pañuelo (figura de cuerpo entero) Alto 7 pies; ancho 3 pies, 9 pulg.

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in white. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in green. Front, lower left corner

Inscribed in red color. Front, lower left corner

Aranjuez 704.
Inscribed. Frame, back, lower bar

Inscribed with chalk. Stretcher

Inscribed with chalk. Back, central area

nº 2112
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Nº 704 Susana
Inscribed. Frame, back, upper bar

SIT/ Autor: Moro, Antonio/Título: Juana de Austria/ Exposición:Las tierras y los hombres del Rey/ Prestador: Museo del Prado.
Scrap of paper. Stretcher

Exhibitions +

Velázquez and the Golden Age
16.11.2018 - 03.03.2019

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
13.06.2018 - 14.10.2018

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
24.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
20.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Retratos del Renacimiento
15.10.2008 - 18.01.2009

The Renaissance Portrait
03.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

The Spanish Portrait: From El Greco to Picasso
20.10.2004 - 06.02.2005

Las tierras y los hombres del rey
22.10.1998 - 10.01.1999

Las sociedades ibéricas y el mar a finales del siglo XVI
22.05.1998 - 26.07.1998

Location +

Room 056 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Chair / Armchair

Jewels: Lleva una figura de oro colgada de la manteleta blanca que cubre sus hombros. La figurilla es supuestamente Hércules con la clava, mítico antepasado de la monarquía hispana, se convierte en un atributo dinástico.

Clothing / Dress: En su condición de viuda, lleva un adecuado y sobrio traje de tafetán de seda negra, donde destaca la gorguera de espumilla con lechuguilla que llega hasta la nuca. Lleva un tocado muy simple que semicubre su cabello.

Update date: 26-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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