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

Queen Margarita on Horseback

Oil on canvas, 297 x 309 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Five equestrian portraits, those of Philip III, Queen Margarita, Isabella of Bourbon, Philip IV, and Prince Baltasar Carlos, belonged to the colossal decorative scheme of the Hall of the Realms in the Buen Retiro Palace. The scheme was organized by the Count-Duke of Olivares, with the aim of affirming the glory of the Spanish Monarchy during what was in fact a period of decline.

Art historians assume that the picture of the mother of Philip IV, Queen Margarita on Horseback is by an unknown painter, and later corrections were made by Velázquez and one of his workshop assistants.