Inventory number
Dyck, Anton van
The Cardinal-Infante Fernando de Austria
Ca. 1634
107 cm x 106 cm
On display
Royal Collection (Royal Alcázar Palace, Madrid, “pieza nueva sobre el zaguán y puerta principal del palacio”, 1636, [n. 429]; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “primera sala de la Furriera”, 1747, n. 63; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “antecámara del infante don Luis”, 1772, n. 63; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “pieza de librería de Apolo”, 1794, n. 63; Royal Palace, Madrid, “primera pieza de librería por parte de la terraza”, 1814-1818, n. 63)

Born to Felipe III in 1609, he was named Cardinal at the age of ten and was Governor of Flanders from 1634 until he died in Brussels in 1641. He is depicted more than half length, with a sword and general's staff in his hand. His red and gold suit is the one he used for his solemn entrance into Brussels as Governor of the Low Countries in 1634.

The sumptuous curtains in the background show that this was an eminently official portrait. It is very close to images of his brother, Felipe IV, painted by Velázquez around the same time.

The treatment of the white collar and ruff, the characteristic brushstrokes marking the folds in his clothing and sash, and the rich golden tones of his suit are the most outstanding elements of this portrait. These formal aspects link it to other portraits from the artist's period in Antwerp, before his trip to England, where his concept of this genre of painting evolved.

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