Portrait of the Infanta Margarita, daughter of Philip IV – Diego Velazquez, 1655

Description of the picture:

Portrait of Infanta Margarita, daughter of Philip IV – Diego Velazquez. 1655. Oil on canvas. 70×59

   The central place in the work of the famous Spanish painter Diego Velazquez belongs to the portrait genre. As a court painter of the Spanish monarch, he often wrote members of the royal family and their close associates.

   Velazquez made a whole gallery of portraits Infanta Margarita, future Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. On this canvas, the young infante is only four years old. In accordance with the tradition of the ceremonial official portrait, the master must portray her as coldly restrained, special, aware of her highest position and accustomed to behaving in accordance with serious court etiquette. Given the static pose of the girl, which is not so characteristic of the baby, given, as prescribed by the genre, serious expression to his face, the picture of Velazquez amazes with the warm sincere attitude of the creator to his own little model. The sweet swelling of children’s cheeks, the gentle oval of the face, shaggy, loose hair, running along the shoulders in soft waves – such was the painter’s heiress to the Spanish throne.

   Margarita Teresa of Spain, becoming empress of the Holy Roman Empire at fourteen, lived a short life. Having given birth to six babies, she died at the age of 20 one years."