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Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
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Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Sevilla, 1599 - Madrid, 1660

Miniatura autor

Philip IV in Hunting Dress

1632 - 1634. Oil on canvas, 189 x 124 cm.

Between 1635 and 1637, important additions were made to the Torre de la Parada, the king´s hunting pavilion situated in the woodlands surrounding the royal palace of El Pardo, on the outskirts of Madrid. During these years, a major project was undertaken to decorate the building with paintings, for which principally Peter Paul Rubens was called upon. Rubens conceived of an extensive programme of mythological paintings, which he created with the assistance of other Flemish artists. Another painter who contributed to the decoration of the pavilion was Diego Velázquez, who produced images of philosophers, hunting scenes and portraits. In addition to paintings of dwarfs and jesters, the portraits included representations of Philip IV, his brother the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, and the Crown Prince Baltasar Carlos, all portrayed outdoors, accompanied by dogs, wearing hunting attire and carrying guns. The only one of these paintings for which a date is known is Crown Prince Baltasar Carlos as hunter (P01189), who was depicted when he was six years old, that is, in 1635-36, as an inscription indicates. Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand as hunter (P01186) was probably painted earlier, for beginning in 1634 he was away from Madrid, serving as governor of the Low Countries. For different reasons, we can assume that Philip IV as hunter was also painted earlier, and adapted to suit its new location in the Torre de la Parada, for which these portraits´ typology must have been deemed particularly suitable. Probably because of its new placement, several changes were made to the image of the king, now clearly visible to the unaided eye. These pentimenti reveal that the rifle was once longer, his left leg was situated more to the right side of the canvas, and the area around his waist was more complex. The evidence of a copy of the painting in its earlier state by Velázquez´s workshop (Musée Goya, Castres, France), and X-ray photographs of the present canvas, tell us that in its first state the monarch´s head was uncovered. The existence of the workshop version suggests that the changes were not made immediately. The fact that the portrait of Baltasar Carlos is the only one to include a specific topographical reference (the area around the Sierra del Guadarrama, near El Escorial), which is closely connected to the environs of the Torre de la Parada, also prompts us to imagine that only this portrait was originally conceived specifically for the hunting pavilion. Philip IV is portrayed here during his physical and political maturity, when Spain still enjoyed its status as a hegemonic power in Europe. These are the years in which courtly culture underwent an extraordinary expansion, reflected in important building and decorative projects, such as the Buen Retiro palace and the Torre de la Parada. We see him in the countryside, standing next to a holm oak (quercus ilex), wearing attire and striking a pose that today might seem casual, but that at the time communicated a very specific meaning. Depictions of the hunt, in that age, were considered "images of war", as numerous contemporary writers reiterate. Therefore, these paintings referred not only to a common pastime for the sitters, but also called attention to one of the inherent responsibilities of any prince or king. In 1724, Antonio Palomino described this portrait and that of the cardinal-infante, emphasising the physical effort involved in the hunt: It would seem that [the painter] saw them at the hottest point of the day, arriving fatigued from the hunt -as strenuous as it is delightful- gracefully unkempt, dust from the roads in their hair (not like the courtiers of today!), their faces bathed in sweat, as Martial [in one of his epigrams] portrays [the Emperor] Domitian in a similar case, lovely to behold, perspiring and covered in dust. This painting is novel from a typological standpoint, for no important precedents exist. Though the artist has done without references to his sitter´s royal status, he nevertheless has managed to transmit a sense of majesty through his elegance, the confidence and impassiveness with which he gazes at the viewer, the manner in which he rests his left hand on his waist and, finally, the way in which the king fills the foreground and is related to the landscape behind him (Text from Portús, J.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 84).

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Technical data

Related artworks

Felipe IV, cazador
Etching on wove paper, 1863
Inventory number
P01184
Author
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Title
Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Date
1632 - 1634
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 189 cm.; Width: 124 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Torre de la Parada, El Pardo-Madrid, 1703-1711; New Royal Palace, Madrid, "pieza interior triangulada", 1747, n. 365; New Royal Palace, Madrid, "cuarto del infante don Javier", 1772, n. 1009; New Royal Palace, Madrid, "pieza de vestir y cuarto del príncipe", 1794, n. 1009; Royal Palace, Madrid, "[1ª] pieza de vestir / cuarto del príncipe-cámara", 1814-1818, n. 1009).

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Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Palacio Nuevo, 1747. Núm. 365.
PINTURAS EXISTENTES ANTIGUAS [...] Pieza interior triangda [...] {10460} 365 / Otro retrato de cazeria del mismo señor Felipe IV con su escopeta y vn Perro de dos varas de caida y vara escasa de ancho original escuela de Belazquez = seiscientos rs.

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 1009.
Quarto del Infante Don Xavier [...] {13087} 1009 / Torre = Un retrato del señor Phe. IV de caza de dos varas y quarta de alto y vara y media de ancho original de Velazquez

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 1009.
Pieza de Bestir [...] {57} 1009 y 1010 / Dos [quadros] de dos varas y media de alto, y una y media de ancho: el uno retrato del Sr. Felipé quarto de Caza, a seis mil reales cada uno, Ydem (y el otro el Ynfte dn. Baltsªr tambn de Caza ... 12.000

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 1009 [dupl.].
Quarto del Principe N. S. Camara / {355} 1009 / Dos varas y quarta de alto y una y media de ancho: retrato de Felipe quarto de Caza. Velazquez ... 6000

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 1009.
[1ª] Pieza de vestir [...] {21195-21196} 1009 y 1010 / Felipe IV y don Baltasar de caza = Velazquez // [repetición de la entrada de la primera obra en el inventario, en otra ubicación=] Cuarto del Principe N. S. / Cámara / {21535} 1009 / Dos varas y cuarta de alto una y media de ancho, Felipe IV de caza = Velázquez

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 200.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 200.
Velázquez. / 200. Retrato de Felipe 4º joven. / Está el monarca en traje de cazador, en pie, junto a un árbol, teniendo a su lado un perro. Lleva guante de gamuza, cuello tendido, coleto, botarga y medias de color verde pardusco, las mangas del jubon recamadas de plata, en la cabeza una gorra, y en la mano derecha una escopeta. (C.L.). / Alto 6 pies, 10 pulg; ancho 4 pies, 6 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1074.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 1184.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 1184.

Exhibitions +

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Kobe
13.06.2018 - 14.10.2018

Golden Age of Spanish Paintings with Velazquez
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13.06.2018 - 14.10.2018

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Tokio
20.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

Golden Age of Spanish Paintings with Velazquez
Tokio
20.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices (1775-1794)
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Goya in Madrid
Madrid
28.11.2014 - 03.05.2015

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston
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
Brisbane
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

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

Velázquez
Londres
18.10.2006 - 21.01.2007

El palacio del Rey Planeta. Felipe IV y el Buen Retiro
Madrid
06.07.2005 - 30.10.2005

Goya - Velázquez: el retrato real
Frankfurt
07.10.1991 - 19.01.1992

Velázquez
Madrid
23.01.1990 - 31.03.1990

Velázquez
Nueva York NY
28.09.1989 - 07.01.1990

Cinco Siglos de Arte Español
París
05.10.1987 - 05.01.1988

Location +

Room 012 (On Display)

Expuesto
Update date: 14-10-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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