Portrait of Philip IV (1652 – 1653) by Diego Velazquez

Portrait of Philip IV - Diego Velazquez - 1652 - 1653

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Philip IV
ArtistDiego Velazquez
Date1652 - 1653
Dimensions37.5 x 47 cm
Art MovementBaroque
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About Portrait of Philip IV

The artwork titled “Portrait of Philip IV” is a distinguished piece created by the celebrated Spanish artist Diego Velázquez between 1652 and 1653. This oil on canvas masterpiece epitomizes the Baroque art movement and measures 37.5 x 47 cm in its dimensions. Classed under the genre of portraiture, the artwork presently resides in the Kunsthistorisches Museum located in Vienna, Austria.

The artwork presents a head-and-shoulders depiction of Philip IV, the then King of Spain, set against a muted, dark background that accentuates the intricate detailing of the subject’s visage and attire. The monarch’s countenance is rendered with a high degree of realism, showcasing Velázquez’s virtuosity in capturing both the physical attributes and the subtle psychological nuances of his sitter. Philip IV is portrayed with a somber and contemplative expression, his gaze appearing to look slightly away from the viewer. Notable facial features include his distinctive Habsburg jaw, a characteristic shared by members of his royal lineage, and his well-groomed mustache, which adds to the regal air of the portrait.

His attire is depicted with restrained elegance, featuring a black garment adorned with buttons and what appears to be a gold chain, signaling his royal status without ostentation. The use of chiaroscuro—a technique prominent in Baroque paintings that employs strong contrasts between light and dark—enhances the three-dimensional quality of the figure and adds to the overall dramatic effect.

As in many of Velázquez’s portraits, the artist’s superb skill in handling the medium is evident, with deft brushwork that captures texture and detail while conveying the depth of character of the Spanish monarch. This combination of technical mastery and psychological insight contributes to the enduring significance of “Portrait of Philip IV” as an exceptional example of Velázquez’s portraiture and a pivotal work within the Baroque period.

Other Artwork from Diego Velazquez

More Baroque Artwork

Scroll to Top