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Maria Cristina of Bourbon, Queen of Spain
López Portaña, Vicente
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López Portaña, Vicente

Valencia, 1772 - Madrid, 1850

López Portaña, Vicente See author's file

Maria Cristina of Bourbon, Queen of Spain

1830. Oil on canvas.
Room 062

This wedding portrait by Vicente López depicts Ferdinand VII’s fourth and final wife, his niece Maria Cristina. All three of his previous spouses, María Antonia of Bourbon (1784-1806), María Isabel of Braganza (1797-1818) and María Josefa Amalia of Saxony (1805-1829), had died without offspring.

The more than half-length likeness shows her at the age of twenty-four in a spectacular blue dress with embroidered silver flowers and bees. Her hairdo a las tres potencias -a curl on each side and a third hanging over the forehead- is adorned with a superb headdress with diamonds in the form of flowers and feathers and real bird-of-paradise feathers, as well as a white lace veil that drapes over her left shoulder. Her arms are covered by long gloves and her hands are crossed. In the left, she clasps a closed fan that is also set with precious stones.

A splendid diamond brooch in the form of a flower basket is pinned to her collar, along with other diamonds, earrings and a magnificent belt around her waist. A sash of the Order of María Luisa crosses her bosom and the scallop of the Order of the Eagle and the Star of Isabel Teresa of Austria are affixed to her left shoulder. Painted for her husband and uncle, this nuptial likeness is undoubtedly the most sumptuous of any portrait by Vicente López as well as an eloquent expression of the ostentatious character of this young queen, who was passionate about jewels and other luxurious and eye-catching adornments on her clothing and accessories. It is also a superb example of this Valencian master’s astonishing virtuosity and exceptional technical gifts, which he maintained through his final years and which were responsible for his extraordinary fame and reputation as first chamber painter at the court of King Ferdinand VII.

Vicente López painted this spectacular portrait a few months after the royal wedding while the queen was sojourning at the Royal Seat of Aranjuez. It was intended to be paired with another of King Ferdinand VII in Civilian Dress (Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional, Royal Palace), who always kept it in his office (Text drawn from Díez, J. L.: El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2007, pp. 128-130).


Technical data

Inventory number
López Portaña, Vicente
Maria Cristina of Bourbon, Queen of Spain
Height: 96 cm; Width: 74 cm
Proyecto de Sala de Retratos de los Reyes de la Casa de Austria y Borbón, Real Museo
Royall Collection (Royal Palace, Madrid; Royal Museum, 1847); Museo de Arte Moderno.

Bibliography +

Exposición del antiguo Madrid: catálogo general ilustrado, [s.l], Madrid, 1926.

Vicente López, 1772-1850, [Casa Guarro], Barcelona, 1943.

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier; Pita Andrade, José Manuel, Los retratos de los Reyes de España, Omega, Barcelona, 1948, pp. lám.171.

Lozoya, Juan de Contreras y López de Ayala, Marqués de, Historia del arte hispánico, Salvat, Barcelona, 1949, pp. 237.

Goya and his times: Royal Academy Winter Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts in London, Londres, 1963.

Boucher, François1703-1770, Histoire du Costume en Occident de L'Antiquite a Nos Jours, Flammarion, Paris, 1965, pp. 344/ lám.872.

Lozoya, Marqués de, Vicente López, pintor de retratos, Goya: Revista de Arte, 104, 1971, pp. 70.

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

Council of Europe. Art Exhibition14th1972London), The age of neo-classicism, The Art Council of Great Britain, London, 1972.

Jiménez Monteserin, M., La Inqvisicion, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1982.

De la Puente, Joaquín, Casón del Buen Retiro. Catálogo de las pinturas del siglo XIX, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1985, pp. 128.

Menéndez Pidal, Ramón, Historia de España, vol.XXXV, Espasa-Calpe, Madrid, 1989, pp. 200/ lám.74.

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

Ainaud de Lasarte, Josep M., Tesoros de España. Pabellon de España. Expo'92. Sevilla, Electa España, Sevilla, 1992, pp. 144.

Díez García, José Luis, Vicente López (1772-1850). Catálogo razonado, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 1999, pp. 107/ lám.205.

Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, 2002.

Diez, J.L; Barón, J., El siglo XIX en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 129/ lám.9.

Díez, José Luis, La pintura isabelina: arte y política, Real Academia de Historia, 2010.

Díez, José Luis, La pintura isabelina: arte y política, Real Academia de Historia, 2010, pp. 59-70.

Díez, José Luis (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado: catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 336.

Martínez Plaza, P, J, El gabinete de descanso de sus majestades, Museo Nacional del Prado,, Madrid, 2019.

Other inventories +

Registros-Inventarios Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, 1900-1936. Núm. 17L.

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1899. Núm. 209.
SECCIÓN DE PINTURA EN SUS DIVERSAS CLASES, DIBUJOS Y GRABADOS EN LAMINAS. / LÓPEZ Y PORTAÑA (D. Vicente) [...] 209.- Retrato de Doña María Cristina. / Alto 0'95 metros. Ancho 0'75 metros.

Inv. General del Museo de Arte Moderno, 1899-1902. Núm. 24.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 2780.
Los treinta y cuatro siguientes cuadros con los nums. 2776 hasta el 2809 ambos inclusives, se han recibido del Rl. Palacio de Madrid. Rl. Orden de 1º. de Dicieme. de 1847 [...] 2780. / Retrato de S. M. la Reyna Dª. María Cristina de Borbon con un vestido azul y una ave del Paraíso en la cabeza. Marco dorado y tallado. / Alto 3 pies 5 pulgs. ancho 2 pies 8 pulgs. // [con otra grafía=] Paso al Museo de Arte moderno

Registros-Inventarios Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno, 1900-1936. Núm. 29L.

Catálogo Museo de Arte Moderno, 1900. Núm. 400.
SECCIÓN DE PINTURA EN SUS DIVERSAS CLASES, DIBUJOS Y GRABADOS EN LÁMINAS. / López y Portaña (D. Vicente) [...] 400.- Retrato de Doña María Cristina. / Alto 0'95 metros. Ancho 0'75 metros.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 772a.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 865.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 865.

Inscriptions +

Front, lower left corner

Exhibitions +

El Siglo XIX en el Prado
31.10.2007 - 20.04.2008

Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado - Tokio
05.03.2002 - 23.06.2002

Tesoros del arte español
20.04.1992 - 12.10.1992

Location +

Room 062 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Order of the Starred Cross (or Military order of Maria Teresa of Austria)

Royal Order of Noble Ladies of Queen María Luisa


Golden Fleece



Update date: 07-07-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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