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Queen Elisabeth of Valois, third wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Queen Elisabeth of Valois, third wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

As he was often required to do, Pantoja de la Cruz here copied an original by Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1535-1625) of Cremona; it was her first portrait of the young queen. It is an attractive adaptation to Spanish conventions, but using warmer, lighter colours; a marmot-fur stole has also been added to the queen’s costume.In this three-quarter portrait Queen Isabel de Valois (1546-1568) wears a bl

Queen Anne of Austria, fourth Wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1616
González, Bartolomé
Queen Anne of Austria, fourth Wife of Philip II
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1616
González, Bartolomé

A court portrait of Queen Anne (1549-1580), the daughter of Emperor Maximilian II (1527-1576) and Maria of Austria (1528-1603), married her uncle Philip II in 1570; their son later became Philip III (1578-1621). This portrait is thought to be a copy of one by Anthonis Mor, painted in 1570 when the future queen was travelling to Spain to be married. She is wearing a white partlet over an ornate dou

Margaret of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Margaret of Austria
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

Margaret, who married Philip III in 1599, was the daughter of the Archduke of Bavaria. In this portrait by Pantoja de la Cruz -the most representative painter of the reign- she wears the so-called “Rich jewel”, a dynastic heirloom comprising the diamond known as “El estanque” (The Pool) and the famous large pearl known as “La peregrina” (The Pilgrim).

Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Infantas Isabel Clara Eugenia and Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1575
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

Philip II’s two daughters Isabel Clara Eugenia (1566-1633) and Catalina Micaela (1567-1597), were repeatedly portrayed from the time they were very small by Alonso Sánchez Coello, one of the king’s court painters. Those likenesses had the characteristics of court portraits, reflecting not only the sitters’ features and their royal context, but also the type of society and state being depict

Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba
Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1573
Anguissola, Sofonisba

Sofonisba Anguissola arrived in Spain in 1559 to serve as a lady-in-waiting to Philip II’s third wife, Elizabeth of Valois (1546-1568). A renowned painter in her native Cremona, she held no official post related to her profession at the Spanish court, but we know that she made numerous portraits of the Royal Family. Those works reveal her understanding of Spanish court portraiture, but they also c

Philip III
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
Philip III
Oil on canvas. 1606
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

The king is portrayed in armour, beside a tent; the image is not particularly representative of the sitter, whose tastes tended more towards regal pomp and religious piety. The composition follows earlier traditions, though with certain features characteristic of Pantoja de la Cruz: a rather geometric rendering of the figure, an impassive, somewhat distant expression, and a fascination with the de

The Infanta Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1584
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
The Infanta Catalina Micaela
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1584
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

Portrayed in more than half-length, Catalina Micaela (1567-1597) wears an entirely black dress with lace collar and cuffs, inner sleeves of golden white and white ribbons. A double string of pearls, a necklace, worked golden buttons and a belt are her rich jewelry. As in other court portraits, she rests her hand on an armchair in allusion to her high birth, while the other holds a feminine object,

Prince Don Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1555 - 1559
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Prince Don Carlos
Oil on canvas. 1555 - 1559
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

This portrait depicts Prince Carlos (1545-1568), heir to the Spanish throne and son of Felipe II (1556-1598), by his first wife and cousin, Manuela de Portugal (1528-1545). This work idealizes the Prince´s face and body when, in fact, he was born with grave physical and psychological malformations that may have been due to his parents´ inbreeding. Both his clothing —a cape lined with lynx fur and

Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia
Oil on canvas. 1577
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia
Oil on canvas. 1577
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

The Infanta, Felipe II´s daughter, is portrayed with a distant and elegant gesture, in three-quarters, which was in keeping with a type of portraiture widely used among court painters at that time. She wears a white and gold dress with lace collar and cuffs, a feather headdress and a great profusion of jewelry, precious stones and pearls. She holds a handkerchief in her left hand, as was customary

Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and Magdalena Ruiz
Oil on canvas. 1585 - 1588
Sánchez Coello, Alonso
Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia and Magdalena Ruiz
Oil on canvas. 1585 - 1588
Sánchez Coello, Alonso

Alonso Sánchez Coello was court painter to Philip II and he united two different pictorial styles developed in the mid sixteenth century by Titian and Anthonis Mor respectively. Sánchez Coello´s images are austere in their presentation, yet they include certain symbolic elements that place the sitters in a suitable context easily legible to the viewer. The sitters´ dress and certain

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