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

Infante Felipe Próspero

c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 128,5 x 99,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The young prince was a sickly child from birth, and he died at the age of four. He appears in this picture in a pink dress trimmed with silver, with a translucent pinafore over it, and bearing some striking accessories: various amulets were supposed to protect him against the evil eye, and an amber apple was thought to ward off infections. The bloodless face of the blue-eyed prince looks even paler due to the contrast with the silver highlights in his straw-coloured fair hair. Pale daylight falls in through the open door in the background. Otherwise, the room is full of shadows that seem to threaten the little figure. Palomino considered this portrait one of the finest ever painted by Velázquez, and singled out the little dog on the chair for special praise.