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Prince Baltasar Carlos
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop of)
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Prince Baltasar Carlos

Ca. 1636. Oil on canvas. Not on display

Born to Philip IV and Elizabeth of Bourbon in 1629, Baltasar Carlos was crown prince until his death in 1646. As such, he was the subject of numerous paintings, most of which are related to Velázquez and his workshop. This group of works is of great interest for understanding the history of Spanish portraiture and the notions associated with being a prince. Thus, along with images characterized by a specific iconography -The Riding Lesson (London, Duke of Westminster Collection) or Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts), both by Velázquez- there are numerous paintings whose contents are very similar to those found in portraits of his father and thus emphasize the type of responsibilities he would have to assume when he inherited the throne. Several of these portraits show him as a child, standing in a setting associated with hunting. The principal referent in this group is Prince Baltasar Carlos, Hunter, which Velázquez painted when the prince was six years old. The same child appears with the same dogs in an indoor portrait (Great Britain, private collection), protected by a curtain with a wide landscape behind him (López-Rey, 1963, no. 309). There, he wears a hat and holds a blunderbuss in his right hand while resting his left on the pommel of a short sword. His suit is decorated with gold motifs and is thus much richer than in Velázquez’s portrait -much like the one he wears in Baltasar Carlos, Hunter (Szépmüveszeti Múzeum, Budapest), a painting sometimes attributed to Alonso Cano. The suit, pose and hunting gear are repeated in the present portrait, which varies in some ways from the previous one. Here, the prince’s hat has been respectfully placed on a cushion on the ground. He is alone, without the company of his dogs, and the landscape is less developed. The presence of the animals in the companion work invites us to date both of them after Velázquez’s work, that is, around 1636. Despite being an indoor scene, this work’s central theme is hunting: the prince holds a weapon and there is a landscape behind him. The Sierra de Guadarrama stands out on the horizon and the woodlands closer up undoubtedly recall El Pardo, the hunting preserve near Madrid where the royal family enjoyed one of its favorite pastimes. This context suggest that the building where the prince stands -if, in fact, it is a real place- is the El Pardo Palace or the Torre de la Parada. References to hunting in royal portraits are much more than a mere reflection of the royal family’s fondness for this activity; they also bear political meaning. During that period, hunting was frequently considered a metaphor or preparation for war, and was thus a very appropriate means of alluding to the military responsibilities awaiting a future king (Text from Portús, J.: El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla, Museo Nacional de Prado, 2010, p. 96).

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Related artworks

El príncipe Baltasar Carlos
Etching on laid paper, 1874
Prince Baltasar Carlos
Lithographic aquatint on wove paper, 1832 - 1836
Inventory number
P001233
Author
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop of)
Title
Prince Baltasar Carlos
Date
Ca. 1636
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 158 cm.; Width: 113 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, 1772, no. 672; Buen Retiro, 1794, no. 183; Royal Palace, Madrid, Secretariat of State, 1814-1818, no. 183).

Bibliography +

López Rey, José, Velázquez: a catalogue raisonné of his oeuvre, Faber and Faber, Londres, 1963, pp. 227-228/ lám.302.

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

Puente, Joaquín de la, Del Greco a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1978, pp. nº1233.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., El Niño en el Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1984, pp. 178/ nº101.

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

El Segle D'Or de la Pintura Espanyola al Museu del Prado, Vegueria Episcopal, Andorra, 1991.

Arte y saber: la cultura en tiempos de Felipe III y Felipe I, Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Madrid, 1999, pp. 45.

Heijden, Chris van der, Schittering van Spanje : 1598-1648 : van Cervantes tot Veláz..., Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Madrid, 1999, pp. 36.

El mundo de Carlos V : de la España medieval al siglo de Oro, Sociedad Estatal para la Conmemoración de los Cent, Madrid, 2000.

Portús Pérez, Javier, El príncipe Baltasar Carlos (h. 1636). En: Ruiz Gómez, L.: El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 96, n. 23.

Doval Trueba, Mª del Mar, Alonso Cano y los retratos del príncipe Baltasar Carlos, Goya, 332 (Jl-Sp), 2010, pp. 202-211.

Other inventories +

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 672.
Pinturas tambien señaladas con la letra P colgadas en diferentes piezas de Palacio [...][15303] 672 / Don Baltasar Carlos con vna escopetilla en la mano dos varas de alto vara y tercia de ancho

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 183.
Otra [pintura] de Velazquez: retrato del Principe Dn. Baltasar, de dos varas menos media quarta de alto, y vara y tercia de ancho con marco dorado...4000

Inv. Fernando VII, Palacio Nuevo, 1814-1818. Núm. 183.
Secretaría de Estado [...] 183 blanco / dos varas de alto y tercia ancho retrato del Principe D. Baltasar agarrada la espada y una carabina y el sombrero sobre un almohadon = Velazquez

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 308.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 308.
Velazquez. / 308. Retrato del principe D. Baltasar Carlos. / Esta vestido con traje de corte galoneado de oro a trechos, y tiene una carabina en la mano derecha. (C.L.). / Alto 5 pies, 8 pulg; ancho 4 pies, 8 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1118.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 1233.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1972. Núm. 1233.

Exhibitions +

Austrias y Borbones. Retratos de Reyes de España y de Príncipes y Princesas de Asturias
Oviedo
14.10.2019 - 15.12.2019

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Sevilla
01.10.2016 - 01.01.2017

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Valencia
01.06.2016 - 01.09.2016

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
La Coruña
09.05.2016 - 29.05.2016

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
15.10.2015 - 16.01.2016

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Cádiz
12.06.2015 - 20.09.2015

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Zaragoza
04.02.2015 - 17.05.2015

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Tarragona
17.09.2014 - 04.01.2015

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Lérida
14.02.2014 - 20.07.2014

Los objetos hablan. Colecciones del Museo del Prado
Gerona
23.10.2013 - 19.01.2014

Saavedra y Fajardo: soñar la Paz, soñar Europa
Murcia
28.04.2008 - 27.07.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Madrid
12.06.2007 - 02.09.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Bilbao
05.03.2007 - 20.05.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Alicante
12.12.2006 - 18.02.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Toledo
19.09.2006 - 26.11.2006

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Salamanca
22.06.2006 - 21.08.2006

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Goya
Santiago de Compostela
09.03.2006 - 14.05.2006

Carlos V entre dos mundos culturales. De las tres culturas de la España medieval al Siglo de Oro
México D.F.
03.11.2000 - 28.02.2001

La cultura española de Cervantes a Velazquez, 1598-1648
Valladolid
10.03.1999 - 30.07.1999

La cultura española de Cervantes a Velazquez, 1598-1648
Amsterdam
21.11.1998 - 07.03.1999

Pintura española del Siglo de Oro
Andorra la Vella
07.05.1991 - 25.05.1991

Displayed objects +

Blunderbuss

Update date: 17-06-2020 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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