Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid)
Oil on canvas
78 3/4 x 40 1/2 in. (200 x 102.9 cm)
Bequest of Benjamin Altman, 1913
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 610
Velázquez was paid for this portrait of the king on December 4, 1624 (for the receipt, see metmuseum.org/collections). The artist had arrived in Madrid in the summer of 1623 and was made painter to the king that August. An important person at court, Don García Pérez de Araciel, commissioned the portrait, an autograph repetition of the official portrait Velázquez had painted for the king. Philip is shown wearing a gold chain and the emblem of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The picture is one of three commissioned from Velázquez in 1624—not long after the artist was appointed court painter in Madrid. On December 4, 1624 he signed a receipt of payment for 800 reales, which must have been the residual sum he was owed. In addition to the MMA's portrait of Philip IV, one showed the king's all powerful favorite, Count Duke Olivares (Museu de Arte de São Paulo), and another showed Don García Pérez de Araciel y Rada (lost). Don García was closely associated with the court. He accompanied Philip IV to Seville in February March 1624, and was selected by Olivares to be vice chancellor to the Council of Aragon, a post he did not assume, as he died September 28, 1624. Velázquez was paid for the three pictures by Don García's widow, Doña Antonia de Ypeñarrieta, whose father had been a high dignitary at the court of Philip III. After her husband's death, she married Don Diego del Corral, a famous jurist: both Doña Antonia and Don Diego were also painted by Velázquez in 1631–32 (Museo del Prado, Madrid, inv. 1195, 1196).
In the summer of 1623 Velázquez was summoned to Madrid from Seville on the orders of Olivares. According to Francesco Pacheco's 1638 manuscript, Arte de la pintura (1956 ed., vol. 1, p. 156), he painted a portrait of his host, the royal chaplain Juan de Fonseca, which was shown at court to great acclaim. Then, on August 30, 1623 he painted a portrait of the king. He was formally admitted to Philip IV's service on October 6, 1623. The MMA's portrait must have been commissioned not long after this date and is Velàzquez's earliest, fully documented portrait of the king. However, x-ray examination reveals that the same composition underlies a somewhat later, full length portrait of Philip IV in the Museo del Prado, Madrid (inv. 1182; see Garrido Pérez 1992). Given its royal provenance, the Prado portrait is likely to have been the official portrait of the king, later repainted by Velázquez in a more fluid, accomplished style. The MMA picture would be an autograph replica of that first, official portrait, done for someone closely associated with the court. As observed by Cherry (1991), "ministers and courtiers were expected to own 'official' portraits of the King, his family and his 'privado', the better quality versions of which were supplied by Velázquez and his studio." Although the status of the MMA's picture has been much discussed, a thorough restoration undertaken in 2010 has revealed it to be a damaged but fully autograph work of high quality. An inferior, studio replica of the MMA painting is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A bust length portrait in the Meadows Museum, Dallas, that has sometimes been thought to be autograph seems also to be a workshop replica.
The MMA owns the receipt (see Additional Images, figs. 1, 2), the transcription of which is taken from Mélida 1906, p. 175:
[recto, above] "Mi S.a doña Antonia me a dicho escriba / a v. m. Como por su orden se le den al pintor / ochozientos realles que su S.a dara re / zibo de ellos para su descargo de / v. m. y en el entretanto que no se / le da sirbira esta. / Doña Antonia / de ypeñarrieta."
[recto, below] "A Ju.o de Cenoz. / Rui. de Ju.o de Cenoz cien Rs. que yo di al pintor / a quenta de los retratos y por que se a perdido el re / ciuo que yo tenia le di este al dicho Cenoz en Madr. / a 6 de dez. de 1624. / D. Antonia de Galdos."
[recto, perpendicular to rest of writing] "Di.o Velazqz.- / Carta de pago de 800 Rs. de Diego Velazquez. / Esta adentro Carta de pago de otros / 200 Rs."
[verso] "Digo yo Diego Velasquez pintor de Su mgd., que rece / ui de[l] Sor. Juan de Genos ocho cientos reales en uirtud / de la liurança destonotado y lo recebi por mano de / Topelucio Despinosa Vecino de Vurgos los quales / recibi a cuenta de los tres retratos del rey y del Conde /
de oliuares y el del Sr. garciperes y por ser uerdad / lo firme en madrid 4 de Dicienbre 1624. / Diego Velasquez."
The following translation of the receipt is taken from departmental files:
[recto, above] "My Lady Doña Antonia has told me to write to your Grace informing you that at her order 800 reales are to be given to the painter and that he will give you receipt for them for your obligations and until it is given this will serve for it. Doña Antonia De Ypeñarrieta"
[recto, below] "To Juan de Cenoz. Received from Juan de Cenoz 100 reales that I gave to the painter on the account of the portraits and because the receipt that I had was lost I gave this to the stated Cenoz in Madrid on 6 December, 1624. Doña Antonia de Galdos"
[recto, perpendicular to rest of writing] "Diego Velazquez. Receipt for 800 reales by Diego Velazquez. Accompanied by a receipt for another payment of 200 reales."
[verso] "I, Diego Velazquez, painter to his Majesty, declare that I have received from Señor Juan de Cenoz 800 reales in accordance with the specifications of this document which I received through Lopelucio d'Espinosa a resident of Burgos which money I received on account of the three portraits of the king and of the Count of Olivares and of Señor Garciperez in witness whereof my signature given at Madrid on the 4th of December 1624. Diego Velazquez"
[Keith Christiansen 2010]
By 2009, the combination of liberal overpainting from a 1911 restoration and layers of discolored varnish had totally submerged the portrait making it impossible to judge its quality. X-radiography indicated that the painting had numerous small flake losses particularly in the upper part of the composition. One of the larger of these included a substantial area of the right eye. It was also assumed that the black drapery would be thin and possibly slightly abraded. However, cleaning tests revealed that portions of the black had literally been scrubbed down to the ground in a previous cleaning. Fortunately, the severe abrasion to the blacks was localized around areas of flake loss while adjacent areas of the drapery remained relatively intact and the better preserved areas exhibited undeniable quality.
Cleaning essentially involved the removal of the varnishes and overpaint applied in the previous one hundred years. What could not be safely removed were the relatively substantial remains of a campaign of broad repainting that had taken place at a much earlier date, possibly in the eighteenth century, at which time the whole of the background and large portions of the drapery and floor were broadly repainted or toned. It would appear that very early in its life, the portrait had suffered from widespread pinpoint flaking particularly in the upper part of the composition. Possibly damp conditions had encouraged this and it was these losses that probably precipitated the radical campaign of repainting. At a later date, the picture was cleaned and in the process areas of the repaint were partially removed. It appears that something extremely caustic was employed in the process since it was this crude campaign that caused such severe damage to parts of the drapery.
Despite its undeniably compromised condition, cleaning revealed the high quality of many passages and permitted not only a reassessment of the attribution but also a more focused and sensitive approach to the reintegration of the losses and abrasion through careful retouching.
Following cleaning, the painting was given a first brush coat of varnish to commence the gradual process of saturating the paint surface and to provide an isolating layer between the original and the retouching. Actual losses were filled with a toned filler which mimicked the color of the ground. The first phase of the retouching involved underpainting of these losses. In the background and flesh tones, a cooler and lighter color was generally used whereas in the drapery the reddish ground color was matched in order to exploit its essential optical role in these areas at the final phase of the retouching. The painting was then given a further application of varnish to increase saturation. In order to assist in the reconstruction of the damaged right eye, a high definition image was obtained of the Meadows Museum's bust-length portrait along with a tracing of the head. Both of these proved invaluable for correctly positioning the missing portions of the Altman portrait.
The final phase of the retouching attempted to reintegrate the damaged areas without resorting to excessive reconstruction of the abraded areas. It should be emphasized that the qualities revealed are inherent and are not the result of artificial enhancement of the whole through repainting.
[2012; adapted from Gallagher 2010]
Antonia de Ypeñarrieta, Madrid (1624–after 1627; inv., 1627); her sons, Juan and Cristobal de Corral y Ypeñarrieta, Corral Palace, Zarauz (inv., 1668); Corral family, Corral Palace; Pilar Antonia de Corral, Duquesa de Granada de Ega; her daughter, Concepción de Idíaquez y Corral (d. 1845); her husband, José de Azlor de Aragón, Conde de Real (1845–about 1850); his brother, Marcelino de Aragón Azlor, 14th Duque de Villahermosa, Villahermosa Palace, Madrid (about 1850–d. 1888); his daughter, Mariá del Carmen de Aragón Azlor, Duquesa de Villahermosa, Villahermosa Palace (1888–d. 1905); her cousin, José Antonio de Azlor de Aragón, 13th Duque de Luna, Madrid (1905–10; sold to Agnew); [Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, 1910–11; sold to Duveen]; [Duveen Brothers, London and New York, 1911–12; sold for $498,750 to Altman]; Benjamin Altman, New York (1912–d. 1913)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, not in catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Velázquez," October 3, 1989–January 7, 1990, no. 7.
Charles B. Curtis. Velazquez and Murillo. London, 1883, p. 47, no. 106, attributes to Velázquez the full-length portrait of Philip IV in the collection of the Duque de Villahermosa, Madrid [this picture], and calls it the companion to a portrait of Olivares (Curtis no. 173 [now Museu de Arte de São Paolo]); states that both portraits were in the collection of the Duque de Narros [a branch of the Corral family; see family tree in departmental files].
Carl Justi. Diego Velazquez und sein Jahrhundert. Bonn, 1888, vol. 1, p. 202 [1903 edition, vol. 1, p. 163], calls it an old school copy after Velázquez [but Ref. Calvert and Hartley 1908 believe he has confused the MMA painting with the version in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Ref. Mayer 1926 notes that at the time Justi saw the Villahermosa picture, it was hanging high on the wall of the palace and obscured by layers of dirt].
José Ramón Mélida. "Los Velázquez de la casa de Villahermosa." Revista de archivos, bibliotecas y museos, 3rd ser., 12 (February 1905), pp. 96–97, pl. 10 (before restoration), identifies the sitter as Philip IV's brother, "Infante Cardenal D. Fernando" and refers to this picture and the portrait of Olivares, also at the Villahermosa Palace, as copies of lost originals by Velázquez.
Francis Lathrop. "The New Velazquez in the Boston Museum." Burlington Magazine 7 (April 1905), p. 16, states that Velázquez worked without pupils or assistants during his first years as a court painter and suggests that the portrait of Philip in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, may be his first likeness of the King, the one cited by Pacheco [see Notes]; judging from a poor photograph and a "brief glimpse" of the MMA picture when it was in the Villahermosa Palace, considers it inferior to the Boston work, but feels unable to say "whether it is or is not a replica from the hand of Velázquez himself".
A. de Beruete. Velazquez. Revised translation of 1898 ed. London, 1906, p. 21, calls it more important than the portrait of Philip at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and "evidently . . . not taken from nature, because it lacks that firmness of execution which Velazquez always displayed when working from the living model"; concludes it must be "from Velazquez's studio, but, for the reasons already stated, can only be included among the replicas of the artist"; excludes the Villahermosa portraits from the list of autograph paintings at the end of his book [in a letter, Ref. Beruete 1911, he states that he meant here that the MMA picture was a replica painted by Velázquez].
José Ramón Mélida. "Un recibo de Velázquez." Revista de archivos, bibliotecas y museos, 3rd ser., 14 (January–June 1906), pp. 173, 175–85, 190–98, pl. 7 (detail), publishes Velázquez's signed receipt of 1624 for the three portraits owned by Doña Antonia [see Notes], found by the author in the Corral palace in Zarauz, and identifies the MMA picture with the portrait of Philip IV listed in it; suggests this is Velázquez's first portrait of Philip, perhaps made from memory rather than from life, and dates it 1622 when the King was only seventeen years old; dates Velázquez's Prado portrait of Philip in armour to 1623 and suggests the difference in age and the possibility that the Corral portrait was not painted from life could explain the different physiognomies; quotes from the Corral family inventory and publishes a 1906 letter from Aureliano de Beruete stating that the portrait is from Velázquez's workshop and not from the living model.
Albert F. Calvert and C. Gasquoine Hartley. Velazquez: An Account of His Life and Works. London, 1908, pp. 42, 53 n. 1, state that Justi [Ref. 1888] confused this painting, then still in the Villahermosa Palace, with the copy purchased by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; view the Villahermosa painting as Velázquez's first portrait of Philip, as his features are more youthful that those in the Prado portrait, but note that the "want of firmness, however, in the execution proves that the likeness was not painted directly from the model".
Aureliano de Beruete. Letter to Mr. Williams. October 23, 1911, notes that in his 1906 monograph [see Refs.] he attributes the two Villahermosa portraits, Philip IV and the Count Duke of Olivares, to Velázquez, working after other originals, although the use of the word "studio" in the translation erroneously gives the impression that they are the work of a pupil.
[Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd]. The Two Portraits by Velazquez from the Villahermosa Palace, Madrid . . . with the Autograph Receipt from the Artist. London, 1911, pp. 4–8, 10–15, ill. (frontispiece), publishes the 1624 receipt in facsimile, gives detailed provenance, and quotes from the 1627 inventory of Doña Antonia; all are presented as proof that the picture is undoubtedly by Velázquez, "the first of the important works he executed on arriving in Madrid"; suggests the painting was made as a test for his appointment as court painter and so remained in his studio, giving Doña Antonia, a privileged customer, the opportunity to purchase it.
N. Sentenach. "Velázquez." Boletín de la sociedad española de excursiones 20 (December 1, 1912), pp. 259–61, 281, attributes it to Velázquez, dates it earlier than the Villahermosa portraits of Olivares and García Pérez, and says it was painted from memory.
William McKay. "The Villahermosa Portraits by Velazquez." Burlington Magazine 21 (May 1912), pp. 113–14, notes that the portraits of Philip IV and Olivares have recently passed from the Villahermosa collection to Mr. H. E. Huntington in New York; states that Beruete [Ref. 1906] was not able to personally examine the Villahermosa pictures until after his book was published and that he later "admitted that he was wrong" about their authorship in a letter [but see Ref. Beruete 1911].
R. E. D. "The Villahermosa Portraits by Velazquez." Burlington Magazine 21 (June 1912), p. 173, doubts that Beruete would have written so definitively about the Villahermosa pictures without having seen them [see Refs. Beruete 1906 and McKay 1912].
August L. Mayer. Kleine Velazquez-Studien. Munich, 1913, pp. 8–15, 20–25, pl. 1 (frontispiece), believes Velázquez painted this picture from life and that, while it is certainly not the first portrait he painted of Philip IV, it is incontestably the earliest surviving one; states that it was not possible this early in his career for the artist to have had a workshop with assistants copying his paintings; observes technical characteristics of the early Sevillian period in this portrait.
Valerian von Loga. "Zur Zeitbestimmung einiger Werke des Velazquez." Jahrbuch der Königlich Preuszischen Kunstsammlungen 34 (1913), pp. 284–86, pl. 3, attributes it to Velázquez and dates it immediately after his arrival in Madrid, before the portrait of Olivares.
August L. Mayer. "Two Portraits by Velasquez." Art in America 1 (October 1913), pp. 253–55, 257–58, 262–63, fig. 20 [condensed English translation of Ref. Mayer 1913, Kleine Velazquez-Studien].
Walter Gensel. Velazquez: Des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. Valerian von Loga. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1914, p. 258, ill. p. 24, dates it 1623–24.
Handbook of the Benjamin Altman Collection. New York, 1914, pp. 44–45, no. 28, ill., cites the receipt as definite evidence of Velázquez's hand.
Bryson Burroughs. Catalogue of Paintings. 2nd ed. New York, 1916, p. 303.
François Monod. "La Galerie Altman au Metropolitan Museum de New-York (2e article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 5th ser., 8 (November 1923), pp. 297–98, compares this painting, and its two copies in Boston (Museum of Fine Arts and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), unfavorably to the first version of the full-length Prado portrait and to the Prado bust portrait; considers the MMA picture a studio copy of the first version of the Prado portrait or of a lost original.
August L. Mayer. Diego Velazquez. Berlin, 1924, p. 60, fig. 21.
Walter Gensel. Velazquez: Des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. Juan Allende-Salazar. Stuttgart, , p. 274, ill. p. 24, calls it Velázquez's first full-length standing portrait and cites copies after it.
Carl Justi. Diego Velazquez und sein Jahrhundert. [Zürich], 1933, no. 19, pl. 16, attributes it to Velázquez and dates it about 1623.
August L. Mayer. Velazquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Pictures and Drawings. London, 1936, pp. 48–49, no. 199, pl. 79, remarks that it was apparently cut about 4 cm. on the right since the composition of the copy in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, extends further on this side.
Élie Faure. Velazquez: Gesamtwiedergabe seiner Gemälde. London, 1939, p. 21, no. 19, pl. 16, dates it 1624.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 238–39, ill., calls it probably his earliest existing portrait of Philip IV.
Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 226, ill., dates it about 1623, calls it the earliest extant portrait of Philip by Velázquez.
Enrique Lafuente. Velazquez. London, 1943, pp. 12, 19, no. 31, pl. 28, dates it 1624.
Elizabeth du Gué Trapier. Velázquez. New York, 1948, pp. 90–93, 97, 100, figs. 56–58 (overall and details), calls it possibly "an old and excellent copy, replacing a lost portrait done from life"; comments on "thinly painted" and "weak" areas of brushwork in the hands and head; notes that Beruete [Ref. 1906] does not include the Villahermosa portraits in the list of authentic works at the end of his book, but modified his opinion in 1911 [see Refs.]
F. J. Sánchez Cantón. Los retratos de los reyes de España. Barcelona, 1948, pp. 141–42, notes that it is almost identical to the 1624 portrait of Infante Don Carlos in the Prado and considers it likely to be a repetition of the first portrait of Philip IV painted in 1623, which, he suggests, may underlie the Prado portrait of 1628.
José Ortega y Gasset. Velazquez. New York, 1953, p. 67, pl. 64, dates it about 1623, not long after Velázquez arrived at court.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 4.
Bernardino de Pantorba. La vida y la obra de Velázquez: Estudio biográfico y crítico. Madrid, 1955, pp. 83–86, no. 25, pl. 25 (overall and details), refutes theories that it was made from memory or by Velázquez's workshop; considers it instead a copy made by Velázquez after his first portrait of the king, recorded by Pacheco.
Kurt Gerstenberg. Diego Velazquez. [Munich], , pp. 42–43, fig. 34, as by Velázquez; notes a stylistic connection with his mature kitchen scenes.
Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, p. 320, no. 2829, considers it the earliest extant portrait of Philip IV by Velázquez and dates it 1624.
Theodore Crombie. "Isabella of Bourbon by Velazquez: A Recorded Portrait in the Spanish Royal Collections, with some Notes on Related Portraits of Philip IV." Connoisseur 141 (June 1958), pp. 240–41, fig. 7, notes that the prototype for the MMA picture lies beneath the Prado portrait of Philip IV and that the MMA picture is "known to have been commissioned as a replica" of this first portrait of the King, painted in 1623 and presumed lost
Martin Soria in George Kubler and Martin Soria. Art and Architecture in Spain and Portugal and their American Dominions, 1500 to 1800. Baltimore, 1959, p. 256, claims that the documented portrait of Olivares survived, and is in São Paolo, but its companion did not; calls the MMA portrait "only a damaged workshop copy," and cites Justi [Ref. 1888].
José López-Rey. "Pincelada e imagen en Velázquez." Varia velazqueña: Homenaje a Velázquez en el III centenario de su muerte, 1660–1960. Ed. Antonio Gallego y Burín. Madrid, 1960, p. 205, comments on the unusually smooth, luminous handling of the faces in Velázquez's portraits of Philip IV and Baltasar Carlos, noting that in the faces of his other sitters, including the queen, the light is broken by shadows and the handling more varied, emphasizing the weight of worldly cares.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. "Velázquez y los retratos del Conde-duque de Olivares." Goya (July–October 1960), pp. 65–66, considers it a copy by Velázquez, not painted from life.
Jesús Hernandez Perera. "Velazquez y las joyas." Archivo español de arte 33 (April–September 1960), pp. 254, 256–57, 263, pl. 1 (detail), identifies the gold chain, bearing the medal of the order of the Golden Fleece, as one listed in a 1666 inventory of Philip's wardrobe.
Fernando Chueca Goitia. "El alcázar interior de Velázquez." Goya (July–October 1960), ill. p. 58.
Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón. "Equilibrio y Responsión." ABC (August 7, 1960) [reprinted in "Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón: Escritos Sobre Velázquez," [Pontevedra], 2000, p. 208], remarks that Velázquez produced numerous pendant portraits in his early years in Madrid, including this portrait and that of the Infante Don Carlos in the Prado (1626–27; 209 x 125 cm).
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, p. 160, recalls seeing the picture at the Duchess of Villahermosa's villa.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. "Mundo y estilo en Velázquez." III Centenario de la muerte de Velázquez . . . Madrid, 1961, p. 19, observes that Velázquez's amendment of Philip's appearance from the unpleasant attitude and posture of the MMA painting to the distinguished, elegant figure in the Prado portrait illustrates the artist's stylistic development as court painter.
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. "Velazquez y Felipe IV." Mundo hispánico 14 (February 1961), p. 25, as by Velázquez; dates it 1624.
José López-Rey. "Maino y Velázquez, dos retratos de Felipe IV en el Metropolitan Museum de Nueva York." Colóquio no. 25 (1963), pp. 17–18, fig. 5 [published in English, Ref. López-Rey 1963, Art Bulletin].
José López-Rey. "A Portrait of Philip IV by Juan Bautista Maino." Art Bulletin 45 (1963), pp. 362–63, fig. 5, dates it 1624 and discusses it in relation to "Philip IV in Parade Armor" (MMA 45.128.14, by Gaspar de Crayer), which he attributes to Juan Bautista Maino.
José López-Rey. Velázquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of His Oeuvre. London, 1963, pp. 38–40, 207–8, no. 236, pl. 37, believes that Velázquez painted the head in the MMA portrait after the Meadows Museum bust portrait—which he calls the artist's earliest extant likeness of Philip—and that he painted the figure after the first version of the full-length Prado portrait; sees the effortless pose and smooth handling of paint in the MMA painting as a means to portray the King as quasi-divine; states that differences in execution between this painting and the companion portrait of Olivares should not cast doubt upon the their authenticity, but should be seen as "expressive of the baroque polarity of Velázquez's naturalism, which imbues with Catholic meaning the portrayal of the divine and the human, the King being the embodiment of divine right and the King's chief minister the personification of earthly power".
José Camón Aznar. Velázquez. Madrid, 1964, vol. 1, pp. 288–92, ill., reiterates that it is a copy by Velázquez of the first portrait of 1623; discusses workshop copies.
Leo Steinberg. "José López-Rey, Velázquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of His Oeuvre." Art Bulletin 47 (June 1965), p. 283, questions the attribution to Velázquez and disagrees with López-Rey's theory of the differences in the artist's portrayals of the divine versus the human in his subjects [see Ref. López-Rey 1963].
José López-Rey. Velázquez' Work and World. London, 1968, pp. 41–44, pl. 45.
William B. Jordan. "A Museum of Spanish Painting in Texas." Art Journal 27 (Spring 1968), p. 288, states that it is generally assumed to have been modeled after the bust portrait in the Meadows Museum.
José López-Rey. "Velázquez' Philip IV." Art News 67 (Summer 1968), pp. 32–33, 65–66, ill.
P.M. Bardi. L'opera completa di Velázquez. Milan, 1969, pp. 90–91, no. 28, ill.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 171 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Francis Haskell. "The Benjamin Altman Bequest." Metropolitan Museum Journal 3 (1970), p. 272, observes that Altman bought the two Villahermosa portraits (the present work and the Olivares now in São Paolo) from Duveen, but that he later sold the Olivares back to the dealer.
Diego Angulo Íñiguez. Ars hispaniae: Historia universal del arte hispánico. Vol. 15, Pintura del siglo XVII. Madrid, 1971, pp. 75, 170, as by Velázquez.
Carter B. Horsley. "Metropolitan Reattributes 300 Paintings." New York Times (January 19, 1973), ill. [page number not recorded in archive copy], reports that Everett Fahy reattributed this painting to the Workshop of Velázquez, based upon skepticism over "the way the collar sat there, the mechanical dry way the gold chain was done"; also notes that x-rays of the MMA painting and of the Prado portrait of Philip led to the conclusion that the former, which lacks pentimenti, was intended as a "royal present for some Habsburg".
José López-Rey. "The Reattributed Velázquez: 'Faulty Connoisseurship'." Art News 72 (March 1973), pp. 50–52, ill., refutes the MMA reattribution of the painting and asserts Velázquez's authorship, based upon the composition and brushwork, the 1624 receipt, and the evolution of the artist's portrayals of Philip IV; states that restorations made by the MMA account for any awkwardness found in the composition.
Philip Hendy. European and American Paintings in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston, 1974, p. 272, as a replica by Velázquez of the original Prado portrait.
José Gudiol. Velázquez, 1599–1660. New York, 1974, pp. 81–83, 326, no. 35, fig. 54 (color), states that this picture "must have been an exact reproduction" by Velázquez of the original 1623 Prado portrait; believes the portrait in the Boston MFA is also by Velázquez; interprets these first portraits of the King as combining the directness of the early Sevillian works with a new found sense of nobility
Velázquez. Paris, 1974, pp. 61–65, 70 [English edition, pp. 53–54, 56], notes that the sobriety of the king's attire in this portrait, dictated by a 1623 ordinance forbidding luxurious clothing in a reaction against the opulence of the preceding era, corresponded with Velázquez's official depiction of noble gravity; interprets the papers in Philip's hand as a symbol of his role as an informed leader, when in reality all decisions were deferred to his minister, Olivares.
Edward Fowles. Memories of Duveen Brothers. London, 1976, pp. 69–70, 78, recounts the 1911 purchase of this picture and the portrait of Olivares from Colin Agnew, who had purchased both from the family of the Duke of Luna.
A. E. Pérez Sánchez. The Golden Age of Spanish Painting. London, 1976, p. 65, observes that the 1627 Prado portrait of Don Carlos, brother of Philip IV, "repeats almost literally the line and atmosphere" of this picture.
José López-Rey. Velázquez: The Artist as a Maker, with a Catalogue Raisonné of His Extant Works. Lausanne, 1979, pp. 31–32, 34–36, 159 n. 65, pp. 244–47, no. 29, pls. 90–91 (overall and x-ray of the head), repeats previous arguments in favor of an attribution to Velázquez.
Marcus B. Burke inSpain and New Spain: Mexican Colonial Arts in their European Context. Exh. cat., Art Museum of South Texas. Corpus Christi, Tex., 1979, p. 40, fig. 19, applies the term "desornamentado" [unadorned], usually used to describe a severe type of Spanish architecture and interior design, to the standard in Spanish portraiture developed during the reign of Philip II and influenced by the Netherlandish painter Antonio Moro; sees the MMA picture as exemplifying this style.
Julián Gállego. Diego Velázquez. Barcelona, 1983, pp. 62–63, 202, observes that before his trip to Italy, between 1623 and 1628, all of Velázquez's portraits share common traits: a black silhouetted figure against a gray or brown background, illuminated on one side; in some variations, such as the MMA painting of Philip IV, the subject stands with feet apart and the weight of the body supported by one leg with the other leg bent, and sometimes with a gold chain across the chest; in such portraits each pictorial element carries a reference, here the subdued colors and narrow pants indicate a court that reformed the customs of dress and the gold chain demonstrates the nobility of the king's orders.
Mary Crawford Volk. "Of Connoisseurs and Kings: Velázquez' 'Philip IV' at Fenway Court." Fenway Court (1985), pp. 27–28, fig. 6, as an autograph copy of the first version of the Prado portrait; discusses the formula Velázquez used to portray Philip IV as a reserved, impassive leader, and through which he conveyed the "conflation of royal appearance and policy"; traces the "pictorial inflections" from the MMA picture to the final Prado portrait as paralleling Olivares's mission to transform the young Philip into a serious, dignified monarch; in both pictures, Velázquez records the actual stance Philip assumed when receiving official audiences, and so shows the king "at work" in "precisely the pose for doing so that that most austere and industrious of all monarchs, Philip II, had devised".
Jonathan Brown. Velázquez: Painter and Courtier. New Haven, 1986, pp. 47, 287 nn. 32, 35, fig. 51, as one of two workshop copies (the second being in the Boston MFA) of the original 1623 Prado portrait; comments that although the picture is part of a documented commission and has been accepted as genuine, the "dull, mechanical execution . . . suggests the hand of a follower"; later states that this painting has been "generally considered" to be a contemporary copy and that it would not have been unusual for the official court painter to have had a workshop during the early stage of his career.
Julián Gállego. Velázquez. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 88–95, 99–100, 124, 129, no. 7, ill. (overall and details in color; x-ray of detail), dates it probably 1624; questions whether Velázquez, upon his arrival at court, could have had a workshop capable of carrying out the 1624 commission for three portraits; concludes Velázquez did paint this picture, following "the model of the Habsburg portrait created by Antonio Moro but breathed into it his elegant serenity and intellectual distancing".
Nina Ayala Mallory. "La pintura de Velázquez, en Nueva York." Goya (January–February 1990), pp. 232–33 [Spanish translation of Ref. Mallory 1990, Art in America].
Nina Ayala Mallory. "Courtly Natures: Velázquez at the Met." Art in America 78 (February 1990), p. 133, calls it probably a studio copy of 1624, either of a lost original or of the first version of the Prado portrait; considers the Prado portrait of Philip's younger brother, the Infante Don Carlos, to be a "more dramatic and insightful example of Velázquez's portraiture of this period".
Enriqueta Harris. "Madrid: Velázquez at the Prado." Burlington Magazine 132 (April 1990), pp. 289–90, states that a comparison between this picture (which could not be lent to the Madrid exhibition) and the Prado portrait might help clarify the problem of the "different appearance of the heads, which has never been satisfactorily explained".
Julián Gállego inVelázquez. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 1990, pp. 129, 132, 134, 141, 195, ill. pp. 2, 132 (both in color), as painted by Velázquez.
Peter Cherry. "New Documents for Velázquez in the 1620s." Burlington Magazine 133 (February 1991), p. 112, calls it a studio work and claims that Velázquez had an active studio from the beginning of his career, including a documented apprentice as early as 1620; suggests that since portraits of the King and Olivares were commissioned by non-noble clients, Velázquez's art must have been identified with Philip's court: "ministers and courtiers were expected to own 'official' portraits of the King, his family and his privado, the better quality versions of which were supplied by Velázquez and his studio".
Carmen Garrido Pérez. Velázquez: Técnica y evolución. Madrid, 1992, p. 119, as one of two copies of Velázquez's first portrait of Philip IV, the other in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; includes detailed discussion of recent x-rays, infrared reflectography, and pigment analysis of the Prado portrait.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 160, 326 n. 220.
Gridley McKim-Smith in Gridley McKim-Smith and Richard Newman. Ciencia e historia del arte: Velázquez en el Prado. Madrid, 1993, pp. 76–78, fig. 54, suggests that portraits of Philip which were not hung in the palace remained in Velázquez's studio to be used as models for future paintings and therefore were not varnished, which would explain the absence of a varnish layer between the underlying image and the final version of the Prado portrait; theorizes that the type of the MMA picture was based on the type of the Meadows Museum bust portrait, the full-length Prado picture was based on the MMA picture, and the bust portrait [Prado?] was based on the full-length Prado portrait; believes that Velázquez painted over the first version of the Prado portrait because the canvas was readily available and required only minimal changes to realize a finished portrait.
Carmen Bernis. "La moda en los retratos de Velázquez." El retrato en el Museo del Prado. Ed. Javier Portús. Madrid, 1994, p. 277, calls it either by Velázquez or a copy after Velázquez; comments that if it can be attributed to him, it may be the first portrait mentioned by Pacheco; calls the present work (or the original if the MMA picture is a copy) the first representation of Philip dressed in the new "golilla" collar which replaced the ruff through royal decree in early 1623 and notes that these small details of dress can help to date the portraits.
Jonathan Brown. "La monarquía española y el retrato de aparato de 1500 a 1800." El retrato en el Museo del Prado. Ed. Javier Portús. Madrid, 1994, pp. 144–45, considers it to be a copy after the first version of the Prado portrait; notes that in the first version, Velázquez took liberties in reducing the length of the head and toning down Philip's protruding jaw and that these attempts at flattery were later rejected in favor of a more strict veracity.
Markus A. Castor. Diego Velázquez, Farbe und Raum: Von der Objektwelt zum Farbraum. Weimar, 1995, pp. 114, 123 n. 11, p. 127 n. 34, no. 22, considers it and the MFA Boston picture copies of the Prado portrait.
José López-Rey. Velázquez. Cologne, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 53–54, 56; vol. 2, pp. 30, 66–70, no. 29, ill. (color and partial x-ray), as by Velázquez.
Michael Kimmelman. "At the Met with Leon Golub and Nancy Spero." New York Times (January 5, 1996), p. C5.
Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 32, New York, 1996, p. 127, notes that Velázquez closely studied sixteenth-century portraits in the royal collections and that his first portraits of Philip (including this one), in particular, show the influence of Alonzo Sánchez Coello, who combined the minutely detailed objectivity of Flemish painting typical of his own master, Mor, with the atmospheric vibrancy of the world of Titian.
Maurizio Marini. Velázquez. Milan, 1997, p. 15, attributes it to Velázquez and believes the three pictures commissioned by Araciel's widow may be the first of the artist's full-length portraits; thinks the head in the MMA portrait is based on the bust portrait in the Meadows Museum, while the stance must derive from superior examples of court portraiture the artist would have known in the royal collection, such as those by Titian and Mor.
Santiago Alcolea. Velázquez. 2nd ed. Barcelona, 1998, p. 12, fig. 20 (color), compares the nuances of black in this picture, and other Velázquez portraits of Philip, with the qualities Zurbarán achieved in the treatment of browns and whites in his monastic habits.
Jonathan Brown and Carmen Garrido. Velázquez: The Technique of Genius. New Haven, 1998, pp. 28, 30, fig. 2c, as a copy of the first version of the Prado portrait.
Michael Kimmelman. Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere. New York, 1998, pp. 186–87 [text similar to Kimmelman 1996].
Jonathan Brown inVelázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck: Pintores cortesanos del siglo XVII. Ed. Jonathan Brown. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, , p. 166.
Miguel Morán Turina and Isabel Sánchez Quevedo. Velázquez: Catálogo completo. Madrid, 1999, pp. 68–69, no. 26, ill. (color).
Fernando Marías. Velázquez: Pintor y criado del rey. Madrid, 1999, pp. 52–53, 60, ill. (color, overall and detail), identifies seven portraits of Philip and his brothers painted by Velázquez during his early years as court painter; attributes this picture to Velázquez and dates it about 1627–28.
Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. "Novedades Velázqueñas." Archivo español de arte 72 (October–December 1999), p. 379, calls it Velázquez's first portrait of Philip; links it stylistically to other early works like the portraits of Luís de Góngora (MFA Boston) and Olivares (São Paolo) and with a painting of St. Simon de Rojas on his deathbed (private collection, Madrid), which he newly attributes to Velázquez and dates 1624, following the painter's arrival from Seville.
Marcus B. Burke inVelázquez in New York Museums. Ed. Joseph Focarino. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 1999, p. 15, believes it to be by Velázquez although other scholars have questioned its authenticity.
Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón. Escritos sobre Velázquez. Pontevedra, 2000, p. 151, sees similarities to the Prado portrait of Infante Don Carlos.
Jonathan Brown. "Velázquez y lo velazqueño: Los problemas de las atribuciones." Boletín del Museo del Prado 18, no. 36 (2000), pp. 53–54, fig. 2 (color) [reprinted in English in Ref. Brown 2008], believes that Velázquez assembled a workshop shortly after arriving at Court and notes that he rarely copied his own compositions; adds that the artist's signed receipt for the three paintings only confirms that he received the payment, not that he was responsible for producing them; observes that although the MMA picture is in poor condition the intact parts are flat and dry in comparison with the Prado painting; concludes that the MMA version is a workshop copy.
Jorge Montoro, ed. Velázquez: El pintor de la luz. Madrid, 2001, p. 275, ill. (color), calls it a copy of the figure as it appears in the original version of the King's portrait (revealed in x-rays beneath the surface of the painting in the Prado, Madrid) of 1623–28 and the head from the Dallas portrait; notes that some authorities have attributed the MMA portrait to Velázquez's workshop.
Amador Schüller Pérez. La patología en la pintura de Velázquez. Madrid, , pp. 47–48.
Salvador Salort Pons. Velázquez en Italia. Madrid, 2002, p. 328, 336, fig. 4, attributes it to the workshop of Velázquez.
Marc Bouyer. "Velázquez, pintor áulico." Velázquez (1599–1999): Visiones y revisiones. Ed. Alberto Villar Movellán and Antonio Urquízar Herrera. Córdoba, 2002, pp. 56, 60–62, ill.
Véronique Gerard Powell inÉcoles espagnole et portugaise. Paris, 2002, pp. 259–60 n. 1, attributes to the workshop of Velázquez a severely damaged Louvre portrait of Philip IV; identifies it as a third work based on Velázquez's original standing portrait of Philip (Prado, Madrid), which dates from 1624–25, and was overpainted by the artist in about 1628; notes that the versions in New York and Boston—"given to the workshop"—must therefore have been painted between 1624 and 1628.
Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez. "Felipe IV, a través de Velázquez." Velázquez en la corte de Felipe IV. Ed. Carmen Iglesias. Madrid, 2003, p. 34, considers the bust portrait in Dallas the basis for Philip's head in the MMA painting, which he calls perfectly documented.
Reinhard Liess. Im Spiegel der 'Meninas': Velázquez über sich und Rubens. Göttingen, Germany, 2003, p. 68 n. 150, calls it a version that shows the original position of the legs.
Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, pp. 113, 496, as by Velázquez, with an "impeccable provenance".
Maurizio Marini. Velázquez, consonanze e dissonanze: Marie de Rohan, duchessa di Chevreuse alla corte di Madrid. Venice, 2004, p. 27.
William B. Jordan. Juan van der Hamen y León y la corte de Madrid. Exh. cat.Madrid, 2005, pp. 211–14, fig. 12.10, considers the MMA painting and the Boston version replicas of the Meadows Museum bust, and calls the latter the best version of Velázquez's portraits of Philip IV; states that the receipt for the MMA painting indicates that it is the official image of the king, reflecting the original Prado full-length painting, dated 1624; comments that an investigation of the extent of Velázquez's participation in the MMA and Boston portraits involves a profound study of the master's workshop, but that most scholars do agree that both paintings originated from the workshop; calls the paintings generally alike, suggesting that they copied a unique template or prototype, and notes that this was a workshop practice employed by Velázquez before he came to Madrid.
Martin Warnke. Velázquez: Form & Reform. Cologne, 2005, pp. 49, 56, fig. 16 (color).
Wolf Moser. Der Fall Velázquez: Antworten. Munich, 2005, p. 132, ill., lists it among workshop pictures or copies and calls it an original version by another hand; asserts that this is also true of the Dallas and Boston pictures.
Romolo Magnani. L'autoritratto ferrarese di Velázquez: Storia autentica di una scoperta "impossibile". Ferrara, 2005, p. 59, ill. (color, overall and detail).
Dawson W. Carr inVelázquez. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2006, p. 164.
Anna Reuter inSpanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History. Ed. Carmen Giménez and Francisco Calvo Serraller. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Madrid, 2006, p. 326.
Esmée Quodbach. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 65 (Summer 2007), pp. 31–32, fig. 32 (Altman gallery photograph).
Santiago Alcolea i Gil. Velázquez. Barcelona, 2007, p. 32, fig. 22 (color), attributes it to Velázquez.
James Macdonald. "La valoración de Velázquez en el mercado internacional." En torno a Santa Rufina: Velázquez de lo íntimo a lo cortesano. Ed. Benito Navarrete Prieto. [Seville], , pp. 136, 337.
Antonio Martínez Ripoll. "¿Error o acierto? Sólo Velázquez pinta al rey." En torno a Santa Rufina: Velázquez de lo íntimo a lo cortesano. Ed. Benito Navarrete Prieto. [Seville], , pp. 191, 362.
Fernando Checa. Velázquez: The Complete Paintings. [Antwerp], 2008, pp. 88–89, no. 21A, ill. (color), supports attribution to the workshop, noting that the first full-length portrait of Philip by Velázquez is concealed beneath its surface.
Jonathan Brown. "Velázquez and lo velaqueño: The Attribution Problems (2000)." Jonathan Brown: Collected Writings on Velázquez. New Haven, 2008, pp. 364–65 n. 8, fig. 1 (color), states that he recently reexamined it with Hubert von Sonnenburg, paintings conservator at the Metropolitan Museum, which reinforced his opinion that the portrait is a workshop product.
Salvador Salort Pons. Diego Velázquez: Pintor, 1599–1660. Madrid, 2008, p. 77, fig. 32 (color), calls the MMA portrait and the version in Boston workshop products.
Michael Gallagher. "Velázquez's 'Philip IV' in the Metropolitan Museum." Metropolitan Museum Journal 45 (2010), pp. 3–14, color figs. 1 (after treatment), 2 (before treatment), 6 (after cleaning), 7 (during retouching), 10, 13, 17 (details), fig. 12 (x-ray), describes the cleaning and restoration of the painting in 2009–10; states that a tracing of the head in Dallas shows that it is an almost exact match to the MMA head, and that examination of a tracing of the MMA painting next to an x-ray of the Prado painting shows that the MMA picture was created from a tracing or cartoon of the original, obscured version of the Prado portrait; adds that side-by-side examination of the MMA and Boston paintings reveals that the Boston version is a copy not of the earlier version of the Prado painting, but of the MMA work.
Carol Vogel. "Reconsidered, a Met Velázquez is Vindicated." New York Times (December 21, 2010), p. A1, ill. (color).
Lisa Beaven. An Ardent Patron: Cardinal Camillo Massimo and His Antiquarian and Artistic Circle. London, 2010, p. 173 n. 85, erroneously as in the Museum of Modern Art.
Anna Reynolds. In Fine Style: The Art of Tudor and Stuart Fashion. [London], 2013, pp. 208, 210, fig. 192 (color).
The frame is from the Tuscany region of Italy and dates to the early 1600s (see Additional Images, figs. 3–5). This cassetta or box frame is made of poplar and is painted black. The inner and outer moldings are mordant or oil gilded on top of this surface with an additional molding added later to the inner or sight edge. The flat plate is ornamented with star-and-vine patterned gilding at the corners and centers typical of the period but probably reworked at a later date. The frame was adapted for the picture and put on it in 2012.
[Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2015; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files]