Philip IV (1605–1665), King of Spain

Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) Spanish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 625

Velázquez arrived in Madrid in 1623 and was soon named court painter to Philip IV. Formal portraits served as official images that circulated throughout Europe and the Americas; here, a somber simplicity befitting the pious monarch departs from the opulence of earlier Spanish court portraiture. After Velázquez executed a first version of this portrait for the king, today in the Museo del Prado, the courtier Don García Pérez de Araciel paid the artist for this autograph replica on December 4, 1624. Because Velázquez later modified the first version, The Met painting is an important record of that inaugural portrait, which initiated an influential series of images through which Velázquez helped Philip IV forge a calculated condensation of power and piety.

Philip IV (1605–1665), King of Spain, Velázquez (Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez) (Spanish, Seville 1599–1660 Madrid), Oil on canvas

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