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

Queen Isabel, Standing

Oil on canvas, 207 x 119 cm
Private collection

Velázquez painted the queen between 1631 and 1632. She was the daughter of King Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici, and had married Philip IV in 1615, before he came to the throne. The artist devoted the utmost ingenuity to painting the queen's robes. Besides depicting all the material splendour shown in this picture, he was interested, as so often in later paintings, in the wealth of nuances to be conveyed by the play of light on black fabrics, which he often exaggerated to produce glittering reflections.

Velázquez painted this portrait over an older picture of the queen that he had executed towards the end of the 1620s.

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