King Philip IV of Spain (1632) by Diego Velazquez

King Philip IV of Spain - Diego Velazquez - 1632

Artwork Information

TitleKing Philip IV of Spain
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Dimensions86 x 127.5 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About King Philip IV of Spain

The artwork, “King Philip IV of Spain,” was painted in 1632 by the prominent Baroque artist Diego Velazquez. This oil on canvas portrait measures 86 x 127.5 cm and is a quintessential example of the portraiture genre from this artistic period. The artwork is currently held in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

In the artwork, we observe a half-length portrait of King Philip IV of Spain, who is depicted with a stern yet contemplative expression. He stands against a rich, dark crimson background, which enhances the sense of depth and focuses the viewer’s attention on the figure. The king is garbed in black, with subtle details accentuating the texture and folds of his attire. His white collar provides a stark contrast, drawing the eye up to his distinctive Habsburg features – a prominent chin and a somewhat elongated face adorned with a golden blond mustache.

His right hand gracefully holds the hilt of a sword, while his left hand is gently positioned upon a letter, hinting at the monarch’s role in governance and state affairs. The use of light and shadow in this artwork is masterful, a hallmark of Velazquez’s skill and his contribution to the Baroque movement, emphasizing the three-dimensionality of the figure and imbuing the work with a sense of grandeur and psychological depth.

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