Philip IV of Spain was an important monarch in Spanish history who ruled from 1621 to 1665 and was the subject of several high-profile works from the Spanish court painter Diego Velazquez. One such work is “Philip IV”, a large oil on canvas painting located at the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The painting measures a sizable 203 x 97 cm and is part of Velazquez’s ‘busto gallery’ series which features 20 grand figures who were prominent personae in Spain’s Golden Age.
In this particular portrait, the King is depicted wearing a black tunic lined with a white collar and sleeves trimmed with silver embroidery, typical of his time period. His gaze is focused on meeting the eyes of anyone looking into the painting – an intense stare consistent with his powerful image during his time as ruler. His face is imposing – attractive, yet sombre – allowing us to understand why he was widely respected and feared by those under his rule.
The artwork Philip IV serves as an important piece to understand the art movements from Spain’s Golden Age of Baroque art. Velazquez certainly dedicated much effort and skill into creating this captivating portrait that survives today still conveying its symbolic authority. Another similar piece related to it would be the “Philip Iv In Brown And Silver” that dates back to 1631-32, another impressive example that reflects strength and significance of Spanish Baroque art through diplomatic messages filmed through portraiture.