VELÁZQUEZ, Diego Rodriguez de Silva y
(b. 1599, Sevilla, d. 1660, Madrid)

Philip IV

Oil on canvas, 210 x 102 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

In 1622 Velázquez traveled to Madrid for what would prove to be a vain attempt to gain a foothold at the court of Philip IV. Discouraged but not defeated, he returned to Madrid the following year and, with the assistance of his friends from Seville, he was given the opportunity to execute a portrait of the king. This painting was reworked extensively a few years later. The portrait was favourably received and the desired appointment obtained: on 6 October 1623 Velázquez was named court painter.