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Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria, in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria, in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Born in El Escorial in 1609, don Fernando was the son of Philip III and Margarita de Austria, and thus Philip IV´s brother. As a result, he held very high posts. In 1619, he was appointed cardinal and between 1634 and his death in 1641, he was governor of Flanders, where he succeeded his aunt, the Archduchess Isabel Clara Eugenia. Generally dated around 1632-1634, in the years immediately followin

Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Queen Mariana of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1652 - 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Mariana of Austria (1634-1696) was the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand III and María of Hungary. It was intended that she marry her cousin, Prince Baltasar Carlos, but following his death she married Philip IV in 1649. Velázquez executed this portrait after his return from Italy. The elaborate clothing, chair and curtain emphasise the sitter`s rank while the table clock alludes to

Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This image can be identified as that of a king and as a portrait of Philip IV on the basis of others of the monarch. In fact, nothing about the clothes or the sitter`s actions suggests his royal status except the easily recognisable physical features of the Habsburg dynasty, in particular the prominent chin.This portrait and the one who is in the National Gallery gave rise to a large number of ver

Prince Baltasar Carlos on Horseback
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Prince Baltasar Carlos on Horseback
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

In 1624, soon after Velázquez`s arrival at court, the political writer Almansa noted that the equestrian order was and is the backbone of republics. This notion was shared by the Spanish monarchy and lies at the origins of the enormous prestige which the equestrian portrait achieved at court. As a court portraitist, this sub-genre of portraiture is frequently to be encountered within Vel&aa

Philip IV on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Of the equestrian portraits painted for the Hall of Realms, this is the only one with a declaration of authorship. The lower left corner has been a customary place throughout the history of painting for the artist´s signature, and here it bears a sheet of paper. And yet, contrary to our expectations, it is blank. This is the painter´s way of telling the viewer that the originality of his style and

Philip III on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip III on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This was one of the paintings decorating the Hall of Realms at Madrid´s Buen Retiro Palace, where various discourses (territorial, mythological, military, and so on) combined to make up the decoration. Genealogical matters were addressed through five portraits that respectively depicted the reigning monarch, Philip IV (P01178), his wife (P01179), their parents (the present work and P01177) and the

Queen Elisabeth of France on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Queen Elisabeth of France on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This painting was intended to hang to the right of the Equestrian Portrait of Philip IV (P01178) and it depicts that monarch´s first wife, Elizabeth of Bourbon (1602-1644), whom he married in 1615. The two portraits contain a play of differences and similarities similar to those between the equestrian portraits of Philip III (P01176) and his wife (P01177), which correspond to the different roles o

Margaret Theresa, Infanta of Spain
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista
Margaret Theresa, Infanta of Spain
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1665
Martínez del Mazo, Juan Bautista

Margarita of Austria (1651-1673) was the daughter of Philip IV and Mariana of Austria. When Mazo painted her she was betrothed to the Emperor Leopold of Austria, whom she married in 1666. In this portrait Mazo`s treatment of the composition and colour reveal the influence of his father-in-law, Velázquez, to whom this work was formerly attributed. The fact that Velázquez was not respo

Las Meninas
Oil on canvas. 1656
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Las Meninas
Oil on canvas. 1656
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

This is one of Velázquez`s largest paintings and among those in which he made most effort to create a complex and credible composition that would convey a sense of life and reality while enclosing a dense network of meanings. The artist achieved his intentions and Las Meninas became the only work to which the writer on art Antonio Palomino devoted a separate section in his history of Spanis

Juan Martínez Montañés
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Juan Martínez Montañés
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

A sculptor is shown modeling (possibly in wax) a head of Philip IV, making this one of the most important 17th-century Spanish portraits of an artist. Besides its impeccable quality, this work is a veritable manifesto on the image art makers wanted to project of themselves. The sculptor looks fixedly at the viewer, making his expression and face (where the Idea resides) more important that his man

Infante Don Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1627
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Infante Don Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1626 - 1627
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Following his appointment as painter to the King in 1623, Velázquez`s principal task was that of portraying the monarch and his circle. In order to do so he primarily made use of two different typologies: bust-length and full-length portraits, in which the sitters are represented standing and close to the picture plane. Among the characteristics that define the latter group are a limited ch

Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares, on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Along with Philip IV and Velázquez, the third name intimately associated with the Buen Retiro Palace is Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares (1587-1645). When Philip IV took the throne in 1621 he was only sixteen years old, and he delegated a considerable part of his work as ruler to Olivares, who was then thirty-four and had proved to be a very skilled politician with an extraor

Prince Baltasar Carlos in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Prince Baltasar Carlos in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1635 - 1636
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The inscription at the lower left serves to date this portrait between October 1635 and the same month the following year. At that time, following his first Italian visit and his permanent and conscientious study of the Royal Collections, Velázquez had already reached full artistic maturity. The protagonist of this work is young Prince Baltasar Carlos, son of Philip IV and Elizabeth of Bour

Philip IV
Oil on canvas. 1623
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV
Oil on canvas. 1623
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

We see King Philip IV of Spain (r. 1621-1665) when he was around twenty years old in an austere image filled with references to his status and responsibilities and to the reformist intentions with which he began his reign. The sword on whose hilt his left hand rests and the desk bearing a top allude to the administration of justice and the defense of his kingdoms. The Golden Fleece hanging at his

Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Philip IV in Hunting Dress
Oil on canvas. 1632 - 1634
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

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 m

Queen Margaret of Austria on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
Queen Margaret of Austria on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

Regardless of the concrete origin of the equestrian portraits for the Hall of Realms, the location for which each was painted, or their sequence, they clearly present a series of formal and iconographic characteristics that emphasize their interdependence. There are visible differences between the male and female portraits, and also between the different generations of monarchs. While Philip III (

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