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Portrait of Charles III as Infante
Ranc, Jean
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Ranc, Jean

Montpellier (France), 1674 - Madrid (Spain), 1735

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Portrait of Charles III as Infante

Ca. 1725. Oil on canvas Not on display

This portrait of a young Charles III is typical of Ranc´s portraits of children. It shows the future monarch as an Infante, years before his departure for Parma and Naples to occupy thrones his mother had assiduously arranged for him. Four other examples of this portrait are found in the Prado, Palace of El Pardo, Royal Palace of Madrid and the Royal Palace of La Granja. They demonstrate the system by which copies of an original painting were rigorously carried out, sometimes by the same artist, to satisfy monarchs´s frequent requests that portraits be duplicated and sent to public institutions or foreign courts. For a fixed commission, the painter would execute a portrait, to be reproduced as necessary. Here, the concept of a court portrait shines in all its splendor: symbolic, artificial, but not charmless. Childish sweetness contrasts with helmet, sword, column and curtains. All appear wrapped in the capricious yet calculated folds of cloth surrounding the youth. The Fleece and the Holy Spirit, and the lacework, lend an aura of wealth. Curiously, this canvas is more sober than its companions. A certain lack of details indicates that it was not finished. Yet the face, gazing directly at the viewer, conveys personality-illustrating Ranc´s ability to reflect individual feeling in each of his portraits. Charles III was born on January 20, 1716; judging from his apparent age here, this portrait may be set from 1724-1726 (Text drawn from Luna Fernández, Juan J., The Majesty of Spain, Jackson, Mississippi, 2001, p. 50).

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Jackson, Mississipi Commission For Internati, 2001, p.50

Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Ranc, Jean
Portrait of Charles III as Infante
Ca. 1725
Height: 105 cm.; Width: 78 cm.
Royal Collection (Taller de Jean Ranc, Madrid, 1735, nº 1162[2]; Furriera del Rey-Casas arzobispales, salón principal, 1747, nº 230; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, cuarto del Príncipe, 1772, nº 230; Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 595).

Bibliography +

Espinós, Adela; Orihuela, Mercedes y Royo Villanova, Mercedes, ''El Prado disperso''. Cuadros depositados en Madrid. VII. Museo de América, Boletín del Museo del Prado, III, 1982, pp. 55.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990.

The Majesty of Spain. Royal Collections From the Museo del P, Mississipi Commission For Internati, Jackson, 2001, pp. 50.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia, Madrid, 2004, pp. 451.

Other inventories +

Inv. Felipe V, Furriera del Rey, 1747. Núm. 230.
Salon prâl. [...] 230 / Ottro Retratto del sr Rey de Napoles sin acauar de Ranc de vara y quartta de Caida y vara de ancho en Seiscientos rs vºn

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 230.

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 595.
[2958] 595 / Otra [pintura], bosquejo de Melendez copiado de uno de Mr. Ram: retrato de medio cuerpo de Luis 1º, de vara y quarta de alto, y vara de ancho, marco dorado ... 60

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 2443.
Escuela Francesa / 2443. Retrato de un Principe Frances. / Alto 3 pies, 9 pulg; ancho 2 pies, 11 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1873-1907. Núm. 2111n.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 2379.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 2379.

Exhibitions +

Virtuti et Merito, la Real y distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III
19.09.2016 - 11.12.2016

Tha majesty of spain. Royal collections from the Museo del Prado & patrimonio nacional (La majestad de España)
Jackson MS
01.03.2001 - 03.09.2001

Location +


Update date: 03-05-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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