The portrait of Philip IV, painted by Diego Velázquez in 1644 during the conquered Lérida, depicts the king wearing a military uniform while holding his sword and baton of command. The exquisite painting is located in The Frick Collection in New York and is also known as “Fraga Philip.” This portrait symbolizes both Philip IV’s support of the arts and his military campaigns.
Philip IV ruled over Spain from 1621 until his death in 1665, making him one of the longest-reigning monarchs. He commissioned several works of art during his reign, including “Fraga Philip,” which is regarded as one of Velázquez’s greatest masterpieces. During this period, Velázquez was sent to Rome to acquire art for the Alcázar Palace in Madrid with Philip’s endorsement.
Furthermore, “Fraga Philip” sparked controversy among critics because it portrays the King not only as a powerful leader but also an artist’s patron. Although Velázquez served mainly as court painter under King Phillip’s rule and produced many portraits featuring kings and statuesque individuals in various scenarios throughout history, this painting captivates its audience with multiple elements converging beautifully into one image – its composition being unique compared to other royal portraiture.