María Teresa (1638–1683), Infanta of Spain,

Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) Spanish

The daughter of King Philip IV of Spain, María Teresa became the presumptive heir to the throne in 1646. Princely suitors from around Europe were keen to have a portrait of the young infanta as she reached marriageable age. Originally bust length but subsequently cut down and then reenlarged at the bottom, this likeness of María Teresa wearing a wig with butterfly ribbons may have served as a model for Velázquez's assistants to copy as they met the demand for official portraits of the young princess. In 1660 the infanta married Louis XIV, her first cousin, becoming queen of France.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 635

Public Domain

Object Details

Artist: Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid)

Date: 1651–54

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: Overall 13 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (34.3 x 40 cm); original painted surface 12 7/8 x 15 1/8 in. (32.7 x 38.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: The Jules Bache Collection, 1949

Accession Number: 49.7.43

Philippe Ledieu, Paris (by 1874–d. 1899); Colonel Oliver H. Payne, New York (probably from 1899–d. 1917); Harry Payne Bingham, New York (1917–27); [Duveen, New York, and Knoedler, New York, 1927–28]; [Duveen, New York, 1928; sold for $175,000 to Bache]; Jules S. Bache, New York (1928–d. 1944; his estate, 1944–49; cats., 1929, unnumbered; 1937, no. 44; 1943, no. 43)
Paris. Palais de la Présidence du Corps Législatif. "Ouvrages de peinture exposés au profit de la colonisation de l'Algérie par les Alsaciens-Lorrains," April 23–?, 1874, no. 504 (lent by M. Ledieu).

Paris. École des Beaux-Arts. "Portraits de femmes et d'enfants," April 30–?, 1897, no. 205 (as "Infante," by Velazquez, lent by M. Ledien [sic]).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition," May 8–August 1920, not in catalogue.

New York. World's Fair. "Masterpieces of Art: European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800," May–October 1939, no. 396 (lent by the Jules S. Bache collection, New York).

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Bache Collection," June 16–September 30, 1943, no. 43.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Velázquez," October 3, 1989–January 7, 1990, no. 34.

Madrid. Museo del Prado. "Velázquez," January 23–March 31, 1990, no. 70.

New York. Frick Collection. "Velázquez in New York Museums," November 16, 1999–January 16, 2000, unnumbered cat.

Palacio Real de Madrid and Palacio Real de Aranjuez. "Cortes del Barroco: De Bernini y Velázquez a Luca Giordano," October 15, 2003–January 11, 2004, no. 1.3.

Rome. Scuderie Papali al Quirinale. "Velázquez, Bernini, Luca Giordano: le corti del barocco," February 12–May 2, 2004, no. 1.3.

Seattle Art Museum. "Spain in the Age of Exploration, 1492–1819," October 16, 2004–January 2, 2005, unnumbered cat. (pl. 37).

London. National Gallery. "Velázquez," October 18, 2006–January 21, 2007, no. 42.

Barcelona. Museu Picasso. "Olvidando a Velázquez: Las Meninas," May 15–September 28, 2008, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Velázquez Rediscovered," November 17, 2009–February 7, 2010, no catalogue.

Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado. "Velázquez and the Family of Philip IV," October 8, 2013–February 9, 2014, no. 11.

Paris. Grand Palais, Galeries nationales. "Velázquez," March 25–July 13, 2015, no. 85.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Velázquez Portraits: Truth in Painting," November 4, 2016–March 14, 2017, no catalogue.

Charles B. Curtis. Velazquez and Murillo. London, 1883, p. 98, no. 249, lists it with the works of Velázquez as "The Infanta María Teresa (?)," in the collection of M. Ledieu, Paris.

Paul Lefort. Velazquez. Paris, 1888, p. 150.

A. de Beruete. Velazquez. Revised translation of 1898 ed. London, 1906, pp. 103, 156, 160, pl. 73, identifies the sitter as Doña Mariana of Austria, notes that the painting has been retouched and considers it a fragment of a larger canvas; states that in 1899 "it was sold to the United States".

Albert F. Calvert and C. Gasquoine Hartley. Velazquez: An Account of His Life and Works. London, 1908, p. 203, no. 103, as painted when the Infanta was about twelve years old [about 1651]; locate it incorrectly in the Prado, Madrid, and elsewhere in the text, in the Palais Bourbon.

Walther Gensel. The Work of Velasquez. New York, 1908, p. 85, ill., as "Mary Ann of Austria (?)," in a North American private collection.

August L. Mayer. Diego Velazquez. Berlin, 1909, p. 154, notes that the picture formerly in the Ledien [sic for Ledieu] collection is with Harry Payne Bingham, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum; identifies the sitter as María Teresa and discusses it in relation to other early portraits of her by Velázquez or his workshop: in the Lehman collection, New York—apparently the earliest; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; La Caze collection (Louvre, Paris)—which he considers a fragment of a replica of the Vienna portrait; a replica of the Vienna portrait in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; a replica of the Bingham picture in the Johnson collection, Philadelphia; and the present work, which he believes is a fragment of a larger, doubtless autograph portrait, somewhat later than the Vienna portrait of 1653.

August L. Mayer. Kleine Velazquez-Studien. Munich, 1913, pp. 44–48, erroneously identifies the painting formerly in the Lidien [sic for Ledieu] collection with that now in the Lehman Wing.

Walter Gensel. Velazquez: Des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. Valerian von Loga. 3rd ed. Stuttgart, 1914, p. 264, ill. p. 178, dates it about 1652 and states that it was in America by 1899.

"Pictures Lent for the Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 15 (August 1920), p. 190, as a portrait of Queen Mariana of Austria, lent by Harry Payne Bingham.

"The Museum's Fiftieth Anniversary: A Memorable Exhibition of Old Masterpieces." New York Tribune (May 9, 1920), p. 5.

Bryson Burroughs. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of Paintings. 6th ed. New York, 1922, p. 318, no. V54–51, identifies the subject as Queen Mariana of Austria and gives the measurements as 14 1/2 x 17 inches; as lent by Harry Payne Bingham.

Walter W.S. Cook. "Spanish and French Paintings in the Lehman Collection." Art Bulletin 7 (December 1924), pp. 61–62, fig. 15, as a portrait of María Teresa from about 1652 or 1653; considers it a fragment of a larger canvas and points out that some areas of the face have been retouched; calls the portrait in the Johnson collection, Philadelphia, an inferior copy after this painting; suggests that the MMA picture may be the one mentioned by Giacomo Querini, Venetian Ambassador to the court of Madrid, as "a third portrait of the infanta which would be sent to France".

August L. Mayer. Diego Velazquez. Berlin, 1924, p. 154.

Walter Gensel. Velazquez: Des Meisters Gemälde. Ed. Juan Allende-Salazar. Stuttgart, [1925], pp. 282–83, ill. p. 142, dates it about 1653–54 and cites two copies after it, the one in the Johnson Collection and another in the Bayo collection, Bilbao.

Royal Cortissoz. "Paintings by Velasquez in America." International Studio 90 (May–August 1928), pp. 36, 39, calls it "Mariana of Austria," notes that it is owned by Joseph Duveen.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Collection of Jules S. Bache. New York, 1929, unpaginated, ill., identifies the sitter as María Teresa.

Royal Cortissoz. "The Jules S. Bache Collection." American Magazine of Art 21 (May 1930), p. 258.

Royal Cortissoz. The Painter's Craft. New York, 1930, p. 19.

Carl Justi. Diego Velazquez und sein Jahrhundert. [Zürich], 1933, ill. p. 134, dates it about 1652.

August L. Mayer. Velazquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Pictures and Drawings. London, 1936, p. 123, no. 521, pl. 177, dates it 1653–54; mentions a copy on the Paris art market in 1932.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. under revision. New York, 1937, unpaginated, no. 44, ill.

George Henry McCall. Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture from 1300–1800: Masterpieces of Art. Ed. William R. Valentiner. Exh. cat., World's Fair. New York, 1939, pp. 193–94, no. 396, pl. 89, dates it 1653–54.

Hans Vollmer in Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 34, Leipzig, 1940, p. 193.

Duveen Pictures in Public Collections of America. New York, 1941, unpaginated, no. 232, ill., date it about 1653.

Harry B. Wehle. "The Bache Collection on Loan." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1 (June 1943), p. 290.

Walter Heil. "The Bache Paintings at the Metropolitan." Art News 42 (June–July 1943), pp. 22, 25, ill., dates it about 1653 and believes it is a fragment of a larger portrait similar to the portraits of María Teresa in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna and the Louvre, Paris.

A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection. rev. ed. New York, 1943, unpaginated, no. 43, ill.

A[lfred]. D[avidson]. "Bache Collection Installed in Metropolitan Museum for the Summer." Art Digest 17 (July 1, 1943), p. 19.

Enrique Lafuente. Velazquez. London, 1943, p. 29, no. 106, pl. 128, dates it about 1653.

Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 650, no. 1763, ill.

Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 98.

Bernardino de Pantorba. La vida y la obra de Velázquez: Estudio biográfico y crítico. Madrid, 1955, pp. 188–89, no. 107, ill., dates it 1654 at the latest and considers it a fragment of a larger work which is the last of four known portraits of the infanta by Velázquez; lists four workshop copies after it.

Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño. La pintura española fuera de España. Madrid, 1958, pp. 325–26, no. 2867, dates it about 1653.

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. 267, as the portrait of María Teresa painted by Velázquez in 1651.

José López-Rey. Velázquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of His Oeuvre. London, 1963, pp. 104, 250–51, no. 385, pl. 141, dates it after Velazquez's return from his second trip to Italy in June 1651; observes that when it was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum in 1920, its size was .349 x .381 m. (13 3/4 x 15 in.) and that later the canvas was trimmed to .33 x .375 m., and strips were added on all four sides; states that the painting belonged to "Colonel Payne Bingham" from 1899.

José Camón Aznar. Velázquez. Madrid, 1964, vol. 2, p. 821, as undoubtedly by Velázquez; dates it about 1653.

José López-Rey. Velázquez' Work and World. London, 1968, p. 127, pl. 146, observes that Velázquez painted a likeness of the Infanta after his return to Madrid [in 1651] and "only the head of this likeness," the present work, survives.

P.M. Bardi. L'opera completa di Velázquez. Milan, 1969, pp. 104–5, no. 109, ill., dates it "1651?".

Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 316 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].

José Gudiol. Velázquez, 1599–1660. New York, 1974, pp. 286, 338, no. 145, fig. 216 [Spanish ed., Barcelona, 1973], dates it about 1651 and calls it an unfinished work.

Velázquez. Paris, 1974, p. 218, as painted after Velázquez's return from Italy.

José López-Rey. Velázquez: The Artist as a Maker, with a Catalogue Raisonné of His Extant Works. Lausanne, 1979, pp. 129, 484, no. 118, pl. 210, dates it 1651–52.

Colin Simpson. Artful Partners: Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen. New York, 1986, pp. 207, 299 [British ed., "The Partnership: The Secret Association of Bernard Berenson and Joseph Duveen," London, 1987].

Jonathan Brown. Velázquez: Painter and Courtier. New Haven, 1986, pp. 217, 280, no. 50, pl. 257, refers to this portrait as a life study made by Velázquez; notes that there are two workshop versions of our painting.

Julián Gállego. Velázquez. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 165, 240–43, no. 34, pl. 34 (color) [Spanish ed., 1990, pp. 404–407, no. 70, ill. color], considers it later than the portrait in the Lehman collection (1975.1.147) and suggests that María Teresa is about thirteen here; observes that our painting is generally considered autograph, but notes that "Velázquez was paid only five hundred reales" [no source given] for this portrait, and that such low compensation and the great demand for portraits of this kind "explain the frequent involvement of Velázquez's workshop in these pieces".

Nina Ayala Mallory. "La pintura de Velázquez, en Nueva York." Goya (January–February 1990), p. 235.

Nina Ayala Mallory. "Courtly Natures: Velázquez at the Met." Art in America 78 (February 1990), p. 193, as of high quality, not intended as a finished, independent picture but as a model for the numerous portraits of the subject—bust-, half- and three-quarter-length images, in various costumes—that would be sent to other courts or relations.

Laurent Manoeuvre. Vélasquez, le siècle d'or. Paris, 1994, p. 9, ill. (color), dates it about 1651.

Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 160, ill., as "María Teresa (1638–1683), Infanta of Spain".

José López-Rey. Velázquez. Cologne, 1996, vol. 1, pp. 171, 193, ill. (color); vol. 2, p. 292–93, no. 118, ill. (color), dates it 1651–52.

Maurizio Marini. Velázquez. Milan, 1997, pp. 148, 164, no. 153, ill., dates it 1651 and calls it "Infanta María Teresa (at thirteen years of age)".

Yves Bottineau. Vélasquez. Paris, 1998, pp. 218, 266, fig. 212 (color), dates it 1651–52.

Santiago Alcolea. Velázquez. 2nd ed. Barcelona, 1998, p. 23.

Jonathan Brown et al. in Velázquez in New York Museums. Ed. Joseph Focarino. Exh. cat., Frick Collection. New York, 1999, pp. 15, 30, pl. 6 (color), calls it a "life study".

Miguel Morán Turina and Isabel Sánchez Quevedo. Velázquez: Catálogo completo. Madrid, 1999, p. 236–37, no. 110, ill. (color), date it 1651–52.

Fernando Marías. Velázquez: Pintor y criado del rey. Madrid, 1999, p. 174, dates it about 1652.

Jorge Montoro, ed. Velázquez: El pintor de la luz. Madrid, 2001, pp. 380–81, ill. (color), dates it 1651–52.

Antonio Martínez Ripoll. "Diego Velázquez, hechura de Olivares, y sus simulacros de monarquia." Velázquez (1599–1999): Visiones y revisiones. Ed. Alberto Villar Movellán and Antonio Urquízar Herrera. Córdoba, 2002, p. 147.

Maribel Bandrés Oto. La moda en la pintura: Velázquez usos y costumbres del siglo XVII. Pamplona, 2002, ill. p. 76 (color).

Fernando Checa Cremades in Cortes del Barroco: de Bernini y Velázquez a Luca Giordano. Ed. Fernando Checa Cremades. Exh. cat., Palacio Real de Madrid and Palacio Real de Aranjuez. Madrid, 2003, pp. 162, no. 1.3, ill. (color) [Italian ed., Velázquez, Bernini, Luca Giordano: le corti del barocco. Milano: Skira, 2004].

Meryle Secrest. Duveen: A Life in Art. New York, 2004, pp. 252, 497.

Katharine Baetjer in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs-d'œuvre de la peinture européenne. Exh. cat., Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Martigny, 2006, pp. 21–22 [Catalan ed., Barcelona, 2006, p. 19].

Wolfgang Prohaska in Velázquez. Exh. cat., National Gallery. London, 2006, pp. 51, 228–30, no. 42, ill., suggests that the Infanta is shown here at the age of fourteen and calls this portrait stylistically closest to that of her stepmother Mariana in the Museo del Prado, "which can be dated fairly securely to the end of the year 1652".

Santiago Alcolea i Gil. Velázquez. Barcelona, 2007, p. 112.

Fernando Checa. Velázquez: The Complete Paintings. [Antwerp], 2008, p. 189, no. 76, ill. (color), as part of a larger canvas; dates it about 1652.

Malén Gual in Olvidando a Velázquez: Las Meninas. Exh. cat., Museu Picasso. Barcelona, 2008, pp. 52–53, 276, ill. (color), considers it a study from life, used as a model for the numerous official portraits of the infanta produced in the early 1650s.

Salvador Salort Pons. Diego Velázquez: Pintor, 1599–1660. Madrid, 2008, p. 279, fig. 164 (color), suggests this is the portrait the Infanta mentions sitting for in a letter of November 1651 to Sor Luisa Magdalena de Jesús.

Lisa Beaven. An Ardent Patron: Cardinal Camillo Massimo and His Antiquarian and Artistic Circle. London, 2010, pp. 149–51, fig. 4.8 (color).

Javier Portús in Velázquez: Las Meninas and the Late Royal Portraits. Ed. Javier Portús. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid. London, 2013, pp. 30, 50, 52, 106, 114–16, 118, no. 11, ill. p. 115 and dust jacket (color, overall and detail), dates it 1653, relating it to a letter of July of that year in which Mother Luisa Magdalena de Jesús, the former nurse of María Teresa, acknowledged receipt of portraits of the king's "female relatives"; notes that a painting owned by María de Jesús de Ágreda was a copy of the type established by this portrait.

Guillaume Kientz in Velázquez: l'Expo. Exh. cat., Grand Palais, Galeries nationales. Paris, 2015, pp. 152–53, 206–7, no. 85, ill. (color, overall and detail), dates it about 1652.

Guillaume Kientz. "Velázquez, la gloire du peintre des peintres." Grande galerie: le journal du Louvre no. 31 (March 2015), ill. pp. 48–49 (color).

Nico Van Hout in Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. New York, 2016, p. 59, fig. 5 (color detail).

Jason Farago. "An Infinite World Captured In a Handful of Portraits." New York Times (January 13, 2017), p. C25.

Javier Portús. "El mejor Velázquez / The Best Velázquez." Ars Magazine 12 (April–June 2019), p. 151.

This picture is a fragment of what was probably originally a half-length portrait of the Infanta. The earliest dimensions on record are those provided in the 1897 catalogue of the "Exposition des Portraits de Femmes": 36 x 42 cm. (14 1/8 x 16 1/2 in.). The measurements 13 3/4 x 15 in. are recorded on the reverse of a photo (see Ptgs. Dept. archives) which dates from 1920 when the picture was lent to the Museum. Between 1927 and 1928, while the portrait was with Duveen Brothers, the dimensions were altered on three occasions (see notes in Ptgs. Dept. archives), amounting in the end to a canvas which had been cut down, with strips added on all sides. A Catalogue of Paintings in the Bache Collection, 1937, gives the picture's measurements as 17 1/2 x 15 3/4 in.; these were its dimensions until September 1984 when the painting was relined and the added strips were largely removed. A strip of about 3/8 in. remains at the bottom, and one of about 1/4 in. at the top; about 3/8 in. remains on the left and 1/4 in. on the right.

A copy after this portrait, in which the sitter is depicted half-length, is in the Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art. A weaker copy, also half-length, whose present whereabouts are unknown, was formerly in the Bayo collection, Bilbao, and is mentioned by Mayer (1936) as on the Paris art market in 1932.