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© The Frick Collection
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez  (1599–1660)
King Philip IV of Spain, 1644
Oil on canvas
51 1/8 x 39 1/8 in. (129.9 x 99.4 cm)
Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Accession number: 1911.1.123
Currently on View
West Gallery (131)
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Commentary: Philip IV (1605–65), who succeeded to the throne in 1621, was a weak ruler but a lavish patron of the arts and letters. He promoted the Spanish theater, built the Palacio del Buen-Retiro, enlarged the royal collections, and was Velázquez’ most ardent supporter. In 1644 Velázquez accompanied the King on a campaign to Catalonia, where the Spanish army led a successful siege of Lérida against the French. In the town of Fraga, the King’s headquarters, in a dilapidated, makeshift studio, Philip posed for this portrait dressed in the silver-and-rose costume he wore during the campaign. Although Velázquez painted numerous portraits of Philip IV, this is the only one dating from the 1640s.

Source: Art in The Frick Collection: Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Arts, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1996.
Collections: Royal family of Spain. Ducal family of Parma, at Parma (1748); at Wartegg Castle, Switzerland; at Schwarzau am Steinfelde, Austria (1864); at Liechtenegg Castle, Austria (after 1907); and at Vienna. Sold by Prince Elias of Bourbon-Parma to Agnew in 1910. Sold by Knoedler (with Scott and Fowles) to Henry C. Frick, 1911.

Source: Paintings in The Frick Collection: French, Italian and Spanish. Volume II. New York: The Frick Collection, 1968.