The present work is based on the half-length portrait of The Infanta Doña Maria, Queen of Hungary, of c. 1630, by Velázquez, in the Prado, Madrid. The daughter of Philip III and Queen Margarita was born at El Escorial on 18th August 1606. James I intended his son the Prince of Wales, later Charles I, to wed the Infanta. However, this failed due to Spanish insistence on Charles becoming a Catholic, and the farcical behaviour of the young Prince and Duke of Buckingham whilst in Madrid attempting to conclude negotiations. On 1st June 1626 the betrothal of the Infanta to Ferdinand III, King of Hungary, was announced and she was married in Madrid by proxy on 25th April 1629. Between August and December 1630 she remained at Naples before heading to Vienna to join her husband. During these months in Naples Velázquez, according to Pacheco, painted 'a fine portrait' of the Queen of Hungary which was to be taken to Philip IV at Madrid.
There are two other known full-length works based on the Prado painting; in the Gemáldegalerie, Berlin, and in the National Gallery, Prague.