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Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Ferdinand IV, King of Naples
Oil on canvas. 1760
Mengs, Anton Raphael

Ferdinand IV (1751-1825) was the third son of Charles VII of Naples and his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony. When his father acceded to the Spanish throne as Charles III in 1759, he became king of Naples. The sitter wears the Orders of the Golden Fleece and San Gennaro. His childish grace contrasts with the courtly pomp of the setting.

The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children
Oil on unlined canvas. 1787 - 1788
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The Duke and Duchess of Osuna and their Children
Oil on unlined canvas. 1787 - 1788
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de

A portrait of the Duke of Osuna, Pedro Téllez Girón (1755-1807); his wife, the Countess-Duchess of Benavente, Josefa Alonso de Pimentel (1752-1834) and their four children: Francisco de Borja (1785-1820), the following Duke of Osuna; Pedro de Alcántara (1786-1851), the future Prince of Anglona; Maria Manuela (1783-1838) and Joaquina (1784-1851), the future Marchioness of Santa

The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Surrender of Breda
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1635
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

On June 5, 1625 the Dutch governor of Breda, Justinus van Nassau, surrendered the keys of that city to Ambrosio Spínola, the Genoese general commanding the Spanish tercios (a group of soldiers that included pikemen, swordsmen and musketeers) of Flanders. Breda`s extraordinary strategic importance made it one of the most disputed cities in the Spanish monarchy`s prolonged war against the Uni

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria at the Battle of Nördlingen
Oil on canvas. 1634 - 1635
Rubens, Peter Paul

The Cardinal-Infante is depicted in full body armor, with a black hat, a staff and a red sash. He is portrayed as a general of the Spanish Armies during the Battle of Nördlingen when, in 1634, they took on the Protestant army. Near him, the allegory of fury and the eagle and lightening bolts of Jupiter allude to his dashing force. A battle scene occupies the background. Rubens painted this wo

Juan Francisco de Pimentel, Count of Benavente
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1648
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Attributed To)
Juan Francisco de Pimentel, Count of Benavente
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1648
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Attributed To)

Juan Francisco Alfonso de Pimentel Ponce de León, 10th Count and 7th Duke of Benavente (1584-1652), is portrayed more than half length with a whole host of attributes that confirm is supreme military rank in the Spanish army. In addition to gentleman-in-waiting to Phillip IV, he was appointed captain general in charge of frontier defense during the Portuguese uprising (1641) and participate

Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael
Charles III
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1765
Mengs, Anton Raphael

This image of King Charles III was paired with a portrait of his wife, Maria Amalia of Saxony (P2201), although the image of the queen was not painted in her presence. Instead, it was invented on the basis of other likenesses, as she died before the artist was able to paint her.Mengs’s effigie of Charles III became the monarch’s official image and was therefore the object of various replicas. One

Philip IV in Armour, with a Lion at his Feet
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)
Philip IV in Armour, with a Lion at his Feet
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1653
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y (Workshop Of)

In its present state the painting reveals two different phases of creation. The apparent age of the sitter and the notable similarities with his appearance in Velázquez`s portrait of the elderly Philip IV in the Museo del Prado (P01185) have meant that this painting is generally dated to the 1650s. However, technical studies have revealed important changes, primarily affecting the head and

The Buffoon Juan de Austria
Oil on canvas. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y
The Buffoon Juan de Austria
Oil on canvas. 1632
Velázquez, Diego Rodríguez de Silva y

The sitter`s elaborate dress, the baton of command he holds in his right hand and the sword on which his left hand rest all indicate that he is a military figure. The military context in further suggested by the naval battle depicted in the background and the weapons, ammunition and pieces of armour on the floor. For many years this portrait was in fact thought to depict a military officer until 1

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

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1634
Dyck, Anthony Van
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria
Oil on unlined canvas. Ca. 1634
Dyck, Anthony Van

An inventory from 1636 describes this striking portrait of the Infante Ferdinand: A half-length portrait, which the Marquis of Leganés brought back, of the Infante Ferdinand in the dress and manner in which His Highness entered Brussels. He has a baton in his right hand. He wears a bright red velvet coat with gold trim, and a scarlet sash embroidered with gold, in which there is a broadswor

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

Philip V on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1723
Ranc, Jean
Philip V on Horseback
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1723
Ranc, Jean

Wearing half-armour and accompanied by an adjutant, the King is presented against a scene of battle with cavalry troops behind him in the panoramic background. Above the monarch, a winged Victory figure points out the pathway to triumph, while at the upper left corner we see Sagittarius, the King’s astrological sign. Grandson of Louis XIV, Philip V was born in Versailles on 19 December 1683 and pr

Portrait of a Dwarf
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1626
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der
Portrait of a Dwarf
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1626
Hamen y León, Juan Van Der

A sumptuously dressed and armed dwarf holds a ruler´s staff, an attribute of power that cannot have corresponded to his status. He was probably one of the court buffoons, who were showered with presents and dressed in ostentatious luxury. Since the sixteenth century, portraits of these figures were quite customary, although it was Velázquez who explored this genre with singular mastery. The

Queen Zenobia before the Emperor Aurelian
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1717
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
Queen Zenobia before the Emperor Aurelian
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1717
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista

Episodio de la historia de la reina de Palmira, que formó parte de la decoración de un salón en el Palacio Zenobio de Venecia, con escenas de la vida de la reina, cuyo nombre era el de la familia. Zenobia, reina de Palmira, mantuvo la independencia de su reino y gobernó frente al acoso de Roma entre los años 262 y 272 d. C., cuando fue derrotada y hecha prisionera por el emperador Aureliano.

The Emperor Charles V
Oil on canvas. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan
The Emperor Charles V
Oil on canvas. 1605
Pantoja de la Cruz, Juan

A fire in El Pardo Palace on March 13, 1604, destroyed the portraits in the Hall of Kings. These portraits had been painted by the finest artists of the time, including Titian, Antonio Moro, Alonso Sánchez Coello, and Sofonisba Anguisciola. Encased in stucco frames attached to the walls of the gallery, which had been organized by Sánchez Coello at the behest of Philip II, these portr

Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan
Charles II in armour
Oil on canvas. 1681
Carreño de Miranda, Juan

Charles II was born in 1661, the only son of Philip IV and his second wife (and niece), Mariana of Austria, to survive to adulthood. Charles succeeded his father in 1665 and died without an heir in 1700 at the age of 39, thus bringing to an end the Spanish Habsburg dynasty. According to the date on this portrait, the king would have been 20 years old at the time. His long hair is worn in a similar

Charles V and Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Arias Fernández, Antonio
Charles V and Philip II
Oil on canvas. 1639 - 1640
Arias Fernández, Antonio

This joint representation of two different sovereigns is of a type rarely found in Spanish portraiture. Its peculiar arrangement reflects the symbolism of the space for which it was commissioned: the Golden Hall at the Alcázar in Madrid. This was a large hall for the king´s public ceremonies and it also served as the antechamber to his bedroom, the so-called Fury Room. As part of the

Charles II as a Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Herrera Barnuevo, Sebastián de
Charles II as a Child
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1670
Herrera Barnuevo, Sebastián de

Herrera Barnuevo was Charles II`s court painter, executing portraits of him between 1667 and 1671. These images include numerous elements referring to the young monarch`s royal status. Here various putti support the sceptre, crown and palm while on the left another one lifts up the insignia of the Golden Fleece and a crowned eagle holds a laurel wreath.

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