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This copy, less than half the size of the original now in the Prado, is of high quality, although the landscape and sky are sketchy.

The original hung in the Salón de Reinos in the Buen Retiro palace in Madrid, between two great equestrian portraits of the sitter’s parents, King Philip IV and Queen Isobel, also by Velázquez. The King’s magnificent charger also rears – in his case a traditional and powerful image of kingly strength and awesome control. The image of the diminutive Prince, on his barrel-chested ‘Thelwell’ pony, walks a masterly line between infantile charm (with just a hint of the comic) and royal dignity. Velázquez makes a potentially ridiculous image both touching and serious.

Details

  • Title: The Infante Baltasar Carlos on Horseback
  • Date: After 1635
  • Physical Dimensions: w813 x h971 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil
  • Work Notes: Lot Sale Date 1810/03/21Sale Begin Date 1810/03/20Sale End Date 1810/03/24Lugt Number 7727Expert Authority Lebrun (Jean Baptiste Pierre)Sale Location ParisLot Number 0091Verbatim Artist Don Diego VelasquezArtist Authority VELçZQUEZ, DIEGO RODRêGUEZ DE SILVA YNationality SpanishTitle Un jeune Chasseur, vu en pied ; sur toile. N.o 131, gravŽ, t. 2.Materials sur toileVerbatim Seller LebrunSeller Authority Lebrun, Jean-Baptiste-PierreTransaction VenduPrice 722 frsVerbatim Buyer La BourdonnaisVerbatim Buyer PortalsVerb. Buyer Mod. [ou] PortalsVerb. Buyer Mod. [ou] La BourdonnaisBuyer Authority La BourdonnaisBuyer Authority Pourtals-Gorgier, James-Alexandre, comte deBuyer Auth. Mod. ou Pourtals-Gorgier, James-Alexandre, comte deBuyer Auth. Mod. ou La BourdonnaisNotes Les informations donnŽes ˆ la fin du titre font référence au Recueil de gravures au trait..., par J.B.P. Lebrun, Paris, 1809.Previous Sales 1809/11/00+ PALEB (0131)Post Sales 1817/04/19 PAHEN (0064)Present Location Budapest, Magyarorszag. SzŽpmŸvŽszeti Mœzeum (51.2828) comme Mazo, Portrait de Baltasar Carlos
  • Work Nationality: Spanish
  • Support: Canvas
  • Provenance: London, Sir Francis Bourgeois, 1811; Bourgeois Bequest, 1811.
  • Further Information: Velazquez served as court painter to Philip IV of Spain from 1623 and made many portraits of members of the royal circle. Velázquez was the premier painter in Spain and highly regarded both before and after his death. Later artists were often urged to develop their skills by copying his compositions, indeed in the eighteenth century court painter Mengs urged the younger generation of painters to ‘not only to copy (his works) but above all to imitate them.’
  • After: Workshop of Diego Velázquez
  • Acquisition Method: Bourgeois, Sir Peter Francis (Bequest, 1811)

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