Upcoming Auctions and Events

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Studio of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Seville 1599-1660 Madrid)
Studio of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Seville 1599-1660 Madrid)

Portrait of the Infante Baltasar Carlos (1629-1646), son of King Philip IV of Spain and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, bust-length

Studio of Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Seville 1599-1660 Madrid)
Portrait of the Infante Baltasar Carlos (1629-1646), son of King Philip IV of Spain and his wife Isabella of Bourbon, bust-length
oil on canvas
20 7/8 x 16 3/8 in. (53 x 41.5 cm.)
Henry Hare Townsend (1765?-1827), Downhills, near Tottenham, Middlesex; Christie's, London, 9 June 1827, lot 95, as 'Velasquez' (26 gns.).
Col. Hugh Duncan Baillie (1777-1866), Hedburgh, Roxburghshire; his sale, Christie's, London, 15 May 1858, lot 22, as 'Velazquez' (185 gns. to Bruce).
Charles Sackville Bale (1791-1880), London; his sale, Christie's, London, 14 May 1881, lot 287, as 'Velasquez' (830 gns. to Germain).
Henry Gurdon Marquand (1819-1902), New York, by whom donated in 1889 to
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Sotheby's, New York, 16 November 1979, lot 115, as 'Workshop of Diego Velazquez', where acquired by the father of the present owner.
W. Burger, Trésors d'art exposés à Manchester, Paris, 1857, p. 117, as Velázquez.
C. B. Curtis, Velazquez and Murillo, London, 1883, p. 59, no. 143, as a repetition by Velázquez.
F. Harck, "Berichte und Mittheilungen aus Sammlungen und Museen, über staatliche Kunstpflege und Restaurationen, neue Funde: Aus amerikanischen Galerien", Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, XI, 1888, p. 73, as Velázquez.
C. Justi, Diego Velazquez and His Times, London, 1880, p. 326, as a repetition by Velázquez.
M. Marks, "My Note Book", Art Amateur: A Monthly Journal Devoted to Art in the Household, XVIII, December 1887, p. 2, as 'one of [Velázquez's] many portraits of Don Balthazar, the little son of Philip IV'.
E.A. Alexander, "Mr. Henry G. Marquand", Harper's New Monthly Magazine, XCIV, 1894, p. 570, as 'probably the work of his [Velázquez's] son-in-law, Del Mazo, with finishing touches added by Velasquez himself'.
J. Allende-Salazar, Velazquez: Des Meisters Gemälde, Berlin and Leipzig, 1925, p. 196, illustrated.
A. L. Mayer, Velazquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Pictures and Drawings, London, 1936, p. 68, no. 288a, as a studio copy after a lost original.
H. Wehle, The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish and Byzantine Paintings, New York, 1940, p. 241, no. 89.15.31, illustrated, as after the portrait in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
J. López-Rey, Velázquez: A Catalogue Raisonné of His Oeuvre, London, 1963, p. 231, no. 320, as from the workshop.
J. Camón Aznar, Velázquez, Madrid, 1964, p. 618, illustrated, as possibly by Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo.
M. A. Asturias, L'opera completa di Velázquez, Milan, 1969, p. 100, under no. 83, fig. 83 C.
M. del Mar Doval Trueba, "Alonso Cano y los retratos del príncipe Baltasar Carlos", Revista de Arte Goya, no. 332, July-September 2010, p. 206, 211, note 26.
E. Quodbach, "Collecting Old Masters for New York: Henry Gurdon Marquand and the Metropolitan Museum of Art", Journal of the Historians of Netherlandish Art, IX, Winter 2017, n.p., note 12.
London, British Institution, Catalogue of pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English masters, 1855, no. 151.
Manchester, Art Treasures Exhibition, 5 May 1857-17 October 1857, no. 626, as Velázquez.

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Prince Baltasar Carlos was the only son of Philip IV and his first wife, Elisabeth of France (Isabel de Borbón). The present painting is based on a full-length portrait of around 1640 or slightly earlier in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (fig. 1). Traditionally regarded as a collaborative effort between Velázquez and his workshop, the overall design and head of the Vienna portrait are thought to be by the master and the remainder by one or more workshop assistants (see J. López-Rey, Velázquez: Catalogue Raisonne; Werkverzeichnis, Cologne, 1996, I, p. 188, II, p. 222, no. 90). It has been suggested that the workshop collaboration in the Vienna portrait is due to the 1643 appointment of Velázquez’s son-in-law, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo (c. 1613-1667), as court painter to the prince, a position he held until the boy’s premature death from smallpox in 1646 (see J. Brown, Velázquez: Painter and Courtier, New Haven and London, 1986, p. 169). An attribution of the present painting to Mazo may be considered.

Generally regarded as an autograph work by Velázquez throughout the 19th century, the present painting has a distinguished history. It was one of four portraits of the Prince exhibited at the fabled Art Treasures Exhibition held in Manchester in 1857, the other three having been lent by Richard Seymour Conway, 4th Marquis of Hertford (1800-1870), and residing today in the Wallace Collection, London. Later, it was part of the seminal collection of fifty European paintings—including Johannes Vermeer’s magnificent Young Woman with a Water Pitcher—that Henry Gurdon Marquand, whom one contemporary described as "the greatest collector in America," donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1889.

More from Old Masters

View All
View All