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Čís. položky 89 -


Studio of Diego Velázquez


Studio of Diego Velázquez - Alte Meister

(Sevilla 1599-1660 Madrid)
A portrait of King Philip IV of Spain(1605-1665),
oil on canvas, 199,5 x 113 cm, framed

Provenance:
possibly Baldassare Castellini, consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Cartagena (Spain), Marseilles and Genoa, around the second half of the XVIIIth century;
possibly inherited by his daughter Catherine Castellini, who in 1798 married Arthémond de Regny (Financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece in Athens between 1831-1841);
by 1840 in the collection of their son Abbé Eugéne de Regny (1804-1883) where the painting was most probably described by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in Rome;
before 1868 bequeathed to the Royal College de Juilly, France (very likely in 1865, a date which is noted as an Inventory Number on the back of the original frame);
until 2016 College de Juilly

Literature:
C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, p. 13, note 1;
J. de Givry, Juilly 1177-1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13, 133

We are grateful to the Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend, Peter Cherry, and Gloria Martinez Leiva for confirming the present painting as a work by the Studio of Velázquez on the basis of photographs. An extensive dossier is available. Jordan-Gschwend noted that Velázquez may have had some participation in the execution of the portrait. We are especially grateful to Gloria Martinez for her help in compiling the following catalogue note.

This is the only known studio version in Brown and Silver of Velázquez’s Portrait of Philip IV in the National Gallery, London, executed in 1631–1632 (195 x 110 cm, Inv. NG1129). The reappearance of this painting allows invaluable insights into Velasquez’s and his workshop’s working practice. Last recorded in 1868, when a hand written comment by the famous French painter Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres, made in Rome in 1840, was cited, describing almost certainly the present painting as a beautiful work by Velázquez, it was hidden for the last 150 years. There is no reference to it in the Witt Library Archive, London. It recently resurfaced upon the closure of the Collège de Juilly, the oldest existing aristocratic school in France.

The ascension of Philip IV to the Spanish throne in 1621 marked a major change in foreign and domestic policy. The main advisor of the king, the Count-Duke of Olivares, persuaded him of the need to regenerate the monarchy and regain the lost prestige during the reign of his father. Economic and political measures to strengthen the royal authority were undertaken. Whilst politically and economically Philips reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Habsburg Empire, the arts flourished into the Siglo de oro, the Golden Age. One of its most prominent characters was Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez. Disciple of Francisco de Herrera the Elder (circa 1590 – circa 1656) and Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644), he is one of the first exponents of the naturalism influenced by Caravaggio in Spain. In 1623 he painted the portrait of the young Philip IV, who immediately summoned him to the court. In 1627 he was appointed ‘ujier de cámara’ and the next year he achieved the desired position of court painter. The arrival of Rubens in Madrid in 1628 marked a definitive turning point in the painter’s career. The influence of the Flemish painter not only changed Velázquez’s way of painting but also encouraged him to travel to Italy, an objective that he fulfilled in 1629. Italy had an enormous impact on Velázquez art. When he came back to Madrid, Philip IV was already eagerly awaiting his return to portray Crown Prince Balthasar Carlos, born during Velázquez’s Roman sojourn (see A. Palomino de Castro y Velasco, El Museo pictórico y escala óptica. II. Práctica de la Pintura y III. El Parnaso español pintoresco y laureado, Madrid, 1715–1724, Madrid 1947, p. 903). Generally, it is believed that this first portrait of the prince is the one currently in the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (128 x 101 cm, Inv. 01.104). This was the first royal portrait in which Velázquez began using a new technique, leaving the forms unmodeled and painting only their visual impressions.

Whilst the exact date of execution is unknown, the portrait of Philip IV in the National Gallery, London (Inv. NG1129) was definitely the first portrait of the King the artist produced after his first Italian sojourn, in that it adopts the softer and more colorful palette of the Venetian school. Life size, it is unlike most portraits of Philip IV, in that it does not show him in his usual wholly black costume. The portrait, as Finaldi points out, could commemorate the ceremony of the oath of allegiance to Prince Baltasar Carlos by the Cortes of Castille that took place in the church of San Jerónimo el Real in Madrid on 7th March 1632 (see G. Finaldi, Philip IV in Brown and Silver, in: Velázquez, exhibition catalogue, London, 2006, p. 174). The London painting was part of one of the most important decorations of the Spanish Habsburgs, the Library in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and was placed next to the portraits of Charles V, Philip II and Philip III (see B. Bassegoda, El Escorial como museo, Barcelona, 2002, p. 329; J. Brown, Philip IV de castaño y plata, in: Velázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck, exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1999, p. 129). In 1810 it was given by King Joseph Bonaparte to the French General Augustin Dessolle, despite the warning of a Spanish official who considered the portrait „[…] the best portrait in Spain of the monarch who most promoted the fine arts, to whom the capital owes its culture, its library and theatres, and to whom Velázquez owed the great honours he received; absent this portrait that was part of the library in the Escorial with the other Spanish Habsburgs princes this series becomes incomplete; without being able to replace him for another of equal merit“ (see B. Bassegoda, op. cit. 2002, p. 329; J Brown, op. cit. 1999, p. 129; G. Finaldi, op. cit. 2006, p. 174; the translations of the texts have been made by Gloria Martinez). Bonaparte nevertheless gave it to Desolle. Desolle‘s daughter sold it after the general‘s death to the English collector William Thomas Beckford, on whose death in 1844 it was inherited by his son-in-law, the 10th Duke of Hamilton. It was bought by the National Gallery at the 1882 Hamilton Palace Sale.

Given the working practice of the Royal Studio, it is remarkable that the Juilly portrait is the only known workshop variant of the London painting known so far. It is striking in the modern simplicity of the design, employing Velázquez’s technique of “stripping away of the remaining vestiges of regal paraphernalia in accordance with the notion that there is no more effective expression of majesty that the royal person himself” (Finaldi 2006, p. 172).

It was after his return from Italy that Velázquez set up his Studio in the Alcázar of Madrid, in a room inside the Gallery of Cierzo, as it is documented by the presence of his first assistants - one of them, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, would even become his son-in-law. Velázquez was now increasingly employed to spread the royal image and to contribute to the monarchies iconography (see J. Portús, Diego Velázquez, 1650-1660. Retrato y cultura cortesana, in: Velázquez y la familia de Philip IV., exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2013, p. 37). Shortly after the execution of the present painting an example of workshop paintings being sent to a foreign court is documented: Portraits of their majesties (”unos retratos de sus Magestades”) by the court painter and his workshop were sent to Vienna, ordered the 24th September 1632. These portraits are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Inv. 314, 731), and they are considered as by Velázquez and the royal workshop (see J. Brown, op. cit., p. 126). The one of the king clearly used the present composition as inspiration, but the king is shown dressed in his usual black. Another portrait based on the present composition but again showing the king in black costume, is a workshop version, today in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (203 x 122 cm, Inv. 296). This demonstrates the working practice of the assistants in the Royal Studio of the Alcazar, who, based on a prime example developed and painted by the master, produced these variants. It is highly likely that Velázquez himself supervised and retouched these royal Effigies to be sent to foreign courts at a final stage, which would indeed appear to be plausible with the present painting as well.

The characteristics of the London painting are here brilliantly captured by the workshop assistants in the Royal Studio. The prototype, possibly the most significant portrait of the King, has been well described as „a harmony in black and silver. “ Philip IV. was a great patron of the arts and he appears to have held the artist in high personal esteem. There are even accounts of his frequent visits to the artists’ studio in the palace. Velazquez, who came from Spain’s minor nobility- the Hidalgo-class, was even admitted into the prestigious Santiago order by the monarch. Not much of this personal sympathy is recognizable in the present painting. Quite appropriate, for a state portrait. The King stands, an impressive figure clad in sombre magnificence, against a table. One feels the chill of his pride as one realizes the coldness of the man of whom it was said that he laughed but three times in his life. The restriction of surrounding areas and the general pose found in earlier portraits of the king are still present, but the subject‘s whole attitude is more relaxed, the flesh tints, probably under the influence of Rubens, are painted with more fluidity, the accents of colour - eyes gleaming like black tortoiseshell, the golden lights on the waves of the hair - are placed with more emphasis, and shapes conveying Baroque dignity, such as the profuse folds of the red curtain, have made their way into the formerly sparse interior. Above all, Velázquez‘s new delight in luxuriant colour is reflected in his depiction of the silk embroidery and the silver and brown tones of the king‘s clothing. Peter Cherry notes that the London Philip IV and also the present painting in fact is the first portrait of the King in which Velázquez employs this „impressionistic“ optical style in the embroidery of the drapery - a hard act to follow for any assistant. In some parts of this picture, especially in the garment, Velázquez stopped modeling the form, such as it is, to paint according to the visual impression. He sought to simplify the painted outlines, but this required a thorough understanding of how the light reflected in in the embroidery represented in the painting. In this Velázquez revealed his genius and striking modernity, and as this technique was incredibly hard to reproduce in the workshop with satisfying results, this “impressionistic” manner may account for the fact that the present painting is the only variant of this type known so far done by Velázquez’ assistants. Portraits of the King in black obviously were easier done, as the Vienna and St. Petersburg versions demonstrate. 

Therefore, the present painting as a workshop version, possibly retouched by the master, is significant as it records a style entirely new and unprecedented in the history of art so far.

This difference can also be seen in the signatures. In the London version, the king is holding in his right hand a paper with the inscription „Senor/Diego Velázquez/ Pintor de V. Mg“ - the opening words of a petition to him from Velázquez. The London painting thus is one of the few portraits signed by Velázquez, marking its importance. In the present painting, the letter is more general- it only contains the Word Senor. This, in words of Gabriele Finaldi: ‘[…] has the form of address that the king had imposed in a decree of 1623: ‘We request and require that when writing to us, nothing more should be placed at the top of the letter or paper than ‘Señor’ (Finaldi op. cit., p. 172). The workshop therefore turned Velázquez’s signature on the prime version into a more general letter to the King. In fact, this ‘Señor’ and of course the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece, are the only hints at royal iconography.

A note on the provenance and early appreciation (a detailed account is available in Martinez-Leivas extensive analysis):

The Collège de Juilly was founded in the 17th century as a Royal Academy for the education of the nobility’s sons. Its collection contained two portraits of Philip IV, the present painting and a full- length inferior copy after the Hermitage portrait. They were documented by Givry : ‘La salle à manger des maîtres, dite salle Louis XIII’: ‘[…] in which the portraits of the first four Oratoire superiores were placed, and two large portraits of Philip IV of Spain’ (see J. Givry, Juilly 1177–1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13), and moved in times of war: ‘The old Empire style furnire, the old paintings, prints, both Velázquez’s canvasses, all that could serve to the history of the Collège was gathered in the room adjoining the library’ (see Givry op. cit., p. 133). The present painting was left to the college by Abbée Eugene de Régny, a professor of the college and an interesting personality. A prominent Catholic philosopher and heir to the great fortune of his banking family he had many royal connections. He was the son of Arthémond de Régny, financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece, whilst his maternal grandfather, Baldassare Castellini, was consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Spain. The existence of several works attributed to Ribera in Régnys collection point to a possible Neapolitan or Spanish provenance through the Castellini family (see on Régny: C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, pp. 541-542). Hamel gives an account of the bequest: ‘[…] which have been kindly donated by the abbot of Régny, and on which the illustrious Ingres has left a note, written in his hand, in 1840, in Rome, where they were then: 1º Portrait of Philip IV, as big as natural size, by Velázquez, very good. 2º Another portrait of Philip IV, by the same […]’ (see Hamel, op. cit., p. 13, note 1).
Régnys collection apparently was in Rome in 1840. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, then Director of the French Academy at the Villa Medici, saw the collection and left a note, in which he remarked upon the quality of the first painting, which must have been the present one. Ingres appreciation is of interest, as the famous French painter was a great admirer of the work of Velázquez (see C. G. Navarro, Ingres y los pintores españoles. De Velázquez a Picasso, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, pp. 72-73). The Spanish painter Federico de Madrazo, who personally met Ingres in Rome, said: ‘I know that Mr. Ingres likes Velázquez very much’ (Navarro, op. cit., p. 73).

Additional image:
Fig 1: The Librar y of the Escorial, with the series of famous por traits of the Spanish kings, the prime version of the por trait of Philip IV (The National Galler y, London, Inv. NG1129) has been missing ever since 1810, when King Joseph Bonaparte gave it to one of his Generals
Fig 2: The Royal College de Juilly, where the present painting was conserved from before 1868–2016

Provenance:
possibly Baldassare Castellini, consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Cartagena (Spain), Marseilles and Genoa, around the second half of the XVIIIth century;
possibly inherited by his daughter Catherine Castellini, who in 1798 married Arthémond de Regny (Financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece in Athens between 1831-1841);
by 1840 in the collection of their son Abbé Eugéne de Regny (1804-1883) where the painting was most probably described by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in Rome;
before 1868 bequeathed to the Royal College de Juilly, France (very likely in 1865, a date which is noted as an Inventory Number on the back of the original frame);
until 2016 College de Juilly

Literature:
C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, p. 13, note 1;
J. de Givry, Juilly 1177-1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13, 133

We are grateful to the Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend, Peter Cherry, and Gloria Martinez Leiva for confirming the present painting as a work by the Studio of Velázquez on the basis of photographs. An extensive dossier is available. Jordan-Gschwend noted that Velázquez may have had some participation in the execution of the portrait. We are especially grateful to Gloria Martinez for her help in compiling the following catalogue note.

This is the only known studio version in Brown and Silver of Velázquez’s Portrait of Philipp IV in the National Gallery, London, executed in 1631–1632 (195 x 110 cm, Inv. NG1129). The reappearance of this painting allows invaluable insights into Velasquez’s and his workshop’s working practice. Last recorded in 1868, when a hand written comment by the famous French painter Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres, made in Rome in 1840, was cited, describing almost certainly the present painting as a beautiful work by Velázquez, it was hidden for the last 150 years. There is no reference to it in the Witt Library Archive, London. It recently resurfaced upon the closure of the Collège de Juilly, the oldest existing aristocratic school in France.

The ascension of Philip IV to the Spanish throne in 1621 marked a major change in foreign and domestic policy. The main advisor of the king, the Count-Duke of Olivares, persuaded him of the need to regenerate the monarchy and regain the lost prestige during the reign of his father. Economic and political measures to strengthen the royal authority were undertaken. Whilst politically and economically Philips reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Habsburg Empire, the arts flourished into the Siglo de oro, the Golden Age. One of its most prominent characters was Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez. Disciple of Francisco de Herrera the Elder (circa 1590 – circa 1656) and Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644), he is one of the first exponents of the naturalism influenced by Caravaggio in Spain. In 1623 he painted the portrait of the young Philip IV, who immediately summoned him to the court. In 1627 he was appointed ‘ujier de cámara’ and the next year he achieved the desired position of court painter. The arrival of Rubens in Madrid in 1628 marked a definitive turning point in the painter’s career. The influence of the Flemish painter not only changed Velázquez’s way of painting but also encouraged him to travel to Italy, an objective that he fulfilled in 1629. Italy had an enormous impact on Velázquez art. When he came back to Madrid, Philip IV was already eagerly awaiting his return to portray Crown Prince Balthasar Carlos, born during Velázquez’s Roman sojourn (see A. Palomino de Castro y Velasco, El Museo pictórico y escala óptica. II. Práctica de la Pintura y III. El Parnaso español pintoresco y laureado, Madrid, 1715–1724, Madrid 1947, p. 903). Generally, it is believed that this first portrait of the prince is the one currently in the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (128 x 101 cm, Inv. 01.104). This was the first royal portrait in which Velázquez began using a new technique, leaving the forms unmodeled and painting only their visual impressions.

Whilst the exact date of execution is unknown, the portrait of Philipp IV in the National Gallery, London (Inv. NG1129) was definitely the first portrait of the King the artist produced after his first Italian sojourn, in that it adopts the softer and more colorful palette of the Venetian school. Life size, it is unlike most portraits of Philip IV, in that it does not show him in his usual wholly black costume. The portrait, as Finaldi points out, could commemorate the ceremony of the oath of allegiance to Prince Baltasar Carlos by the Cortes of Castille that took place in the church of San Jerónimo el Real in Madrid on 7th March 1632 (see G. Finaldi, Philip IV in Brown and Silver, in: Velázquez, exhibition catalogue, London, 2006, p. 174). The London painting was part of one of the most important decorations of the Spanish Habsburgs, the Library in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and was placed next to the portraits of Charles V, Philip II and Philip III (see B. Bassegoda, El Escorial como museo, Barcelona, 2002, p. 329; J. Brown, Philip IV de castaño y plata, in: Velázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck, exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1999, p. 129). In 1810 it was given by King Joseph Bonaparte to the French General Augustin Dessolle, despite the warning of a Spanish official who considered the portrait „[…] the best portrait in Spain of the monarch who most promoted the fine arts, to whom the capital owes its culture, its library and theatres, and to whom Velázquez owed the great honours he received; absent this portrait that was part of the library in the Escorial with the other Spanish Habsburgs princes this series becomes incomplete; without being able to replace him for another of equal merit“ (see B. Bassegoda, op. cit. 2002, p. 329; J Brown, op. cit. 1999, p. 129; G. Finaldi, op. cit. 2006, p. 174; the translations of the texts have been made by Gloria Martinez). Bonaparte nevertheless gave it to Desolle. Desolle‘s daughter sold it after the general‘s death to the English collector William Thomas Beckford, on whose death in 1844 it was inherited by his son-in-law, the 10th Duke of Hamilton. It was bought by the National Gallery at the 1882 Hamilton Palace Sale.

Given the working practice of the Royal Studio, it is remarkable that the Juilly portrait is the only known workshop variant of the London painting known so far. It is striking in the modern simplicity of the design, employing Velázquez’s technique of “stripping away of the remaining vestiges of regal paraphernalia in accordance with the notion that there is no more effective expression of majesty that the royal person himself” (Finaldi 2006, p. 172).

It was after his return from Italy that Velázquez set up his Studio in the Alcázar of Madrid, in a room inside the Gallery of Cierzo, as it is documented by the presence of his first assistants - one of them, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, would even become his son-in-law. Velázquez was now increasingly employed to spread the royal image and to contribute to the monarchies iconography (see J. Portús, Diego Velázquez, 1650-1660. Retrato y cultura cortesana, in: Velázquez y la familia de Philip IV., exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2013, p. 37). Shortly after the execution of the present painting an example of workshop paintings being sent to a foreign court is documented: Portraits of their majesties (”unos retratos de sus Magestades”) by the court painter and his workshop were sent to Vienna, ordered the 24th September 1632. These portraits are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Inv. 314, 731), and they are considered as by Velázquez and the royal workshop (see J. Brown, op. cit., p. 126). The one of the king clearly used the present composition as inspiration, but the king is shown dressed in his usual black. Another portrait based on the present composition but again showing the king in black costume, is a workshop version, today in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (203 x 122 cm, Inv. 296). This demonstrates the working practice of the assistants in the Royal Studio of the Alcazar, who, based on a prime example developed and painted by the master, produced these variants. It is highly likely that Velázquez himself supervised and retouched these royal Effigies to be sent to foreign courts at a final stage, which would indeed appear to be plausible with the present painting as well.

The characteristics of the London painting are here brilliantly captured by the workshop assistants in the Royal Studio. The prototype, possibly the most significant portrait of the King, has been well described as „a harmony in black and silver. “ Philipp IV. was a great patron of the arts and he appears to have held the artist in high personal esteem. There are even accounts of his frequent visits to the artists’ studio in the palace. Velazquez, who came from Spain’s minor nobility- the Hidalgo-class, was even admitted into the prestigious Santiago order by the monarch. Not much of this personal sympathy is recognizable in the present painting. Quite appropriate, for a state portrait. The King stands, an impressive figure clad in sombre magnificence, against a table. One feels the chill of his pride as one realizes the coldness of the man of whom it was said that he laughed but three times in his life. The restriction of surrounding areas and the general pose found in earlier portraits of the king are still present, but the subject‘s whole attitude is more relaxed, the flesh tints, probably under the influence of Rubens, are painted with more fluidity, the accents of colour - eyes gleaming like black tortoiseshell, the golden lights on the waves of the hair - are placed with more emphasis, and shapes conveying Baroque dignity, such as the profuse folds of the red curtain, have made their way into the formerly sparse interior. Above all, Velázquez‘s new delight in luxuriant colour is reflected in his depiction of the silk embroidery and the silver and brown tones of the king‘s clothing. Peter Cherry notes that the London Philipp IV and also the present painting in fact is the first portrait of the King in which Velázquez employs this „impressionistic“ optical style in the embroidery of the drapery - a hard act to follow for any assistant. In some parts of this picture, especially in the garment, Velázquez stopped modeling the form, such as it is, to paint according to the visual impression. He sought to simplify the painted outlines, but this required a thorough understanding of how the light reflected in in the embroidery represented in the painting. In this Velázquez revealed his genius and striking modernity, and as this technique was incredibly hard to reproduce in the workshop with satisfying results, this “impressionistic” manner may account for the fact that the present painting is the only variant of this type known so far done by Velázquez’ assistants. Portraits of the King in black obviously were easier done, as the Vienna and St. Petersburg versions demonstrate. 

Therefore, the present painting as a workshop version, possibly retouched by the master, is significant as it records a style entirely new and unprecedented in the history of art so far.

This difference can also be seen in the signatures. In the London version, the king is holding in his right hand a paper with the inscription „Senor/Diego Velázquez/ Pintor de V. Mg“ - the opening words of a petition to him from Velázquez. The London painting thus is one of the few portraits signed by Velázquez, marking its importance. In the present painting, the letter is more general- it only contains the Word Senor. This, in words of Gabriele Finaldi: ‘[…] has the form of address that the king had imposed in a decree of 1623: ‘We request and require that when writing to us, nothing more should be placed at the top of the letter or paper than ‘Señor’ (Finaldi op. cit., p. 172). The workshop therefore turned Velázquez’s signature on the prime version into a more general letter to the King. In fact, this ‘Señor’ and of course the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece, are the only hints at royal iconography.

A note on the provenance and early appreciation (a detailed account is available in Martinez-Leivas extensive analysis):

The Collège de Juilly was founded in the 17th century as a Royal Academy for the education of the nobility’s sons. Its collection contained two portraits of Philipp IV, the present painting and a full- length inferior copy after the Hermitage portrait. They were documented by Givry : ‘La salle à manger des maîtres, dite salle Louis XIII’: ‘[…] in which the portraits of the first four Oratoire superiores were placed, and two large portraits of Philip IV of Spain’ (see J. Givry, Juilly 1177–1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13), and moved in times of war: ‘The old Empire style furnire, the old paintings, prints, both Velázquez’s canvasses, all that could serve to the history of the Collège was gathered in the room adjoining the library’ (see Givry op. cit., p. 133). The present painting was left to the college by Abbée Eugene de Régny, a professor of the college and an interesting personality. A prominent Catholic philosopher and heir to the great fortune of his banking family he had many royal connections. He was the son of Arthémond de Régny, financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece, whilst his maternal grandfather, Baldassare Castellini, was consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Spain. The existence of several works attributed to Ribera in Régnys collection point to a possible Neapolitan or Spanish provenance through the Castellini family (see on Régny: C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, pp. 541-542). Hamel gives an account of the bequest: ‘[…] which have been kindly donated by the abbot of Régny, and on which the illustrious Ingres has left a note, written in his hand, in 1840, in Rome, where they were then: 1º Portrait of Philip IV, as big as natural size, by Velázquez, very good. 2º Another portrait of Philip IV, by the same […]’ (see Hamel, op. cit., p. 13, note 1).
Régnys collection apparently was in Rome in 1840. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, then Director of the French Academy at the Villa Medici, saw the collection and left a note, in which he remarked upon the quality of the first painting, which must have been the present one. Ingres appreciation is of interest, as the famous French painter was a great admirer of the work of Velázquez (see C. G. Navarro, Ingres y los pintores españoles. De Velázquez a Picasso, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, pp. 72-73). The Spanish painter Federico de Madrazo, who personally met Ingres in Rome, said: ‘I know that Mr. Ingres likes Velázquez very much’ (Navarro, op. cit., p. 73).

Expert: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo Dr. Alexander Strasoldo
+43 1 515 60 312

oldmasters@dorotheum.com

18.10.2016 - 18:00

Odhadní cena:
EUR 150.000,- do EUR 200.000,-

Studio of Diego Velázquez


(Sevilla 1599-1660 Madrid)
A portrait of King Philip IV of Spain(1605-1665),
oil on canvas, 199,5 x 113 cm, framed

Provenance:
possibly Baldassare Castellini, consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Cartagena (Spain), Marseilles and Genoa, around the second half of the XVIIIth century;
possibly inherited by his daughter Catherine Castellini, who in 1798 married Arthémond de Regny (Financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece in Athens between 1831-1841);
by 1840 in the collection of their son Abbé Eugéne de Regny (1804-1883) where the painting was most probably described by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in Rome;
before 1868 bequeathed to the Royal College de Juilly, France (very likely in 1865, a date which is noted as an Inventory Number on the back of the original frame);
until 2016 College de Juilly

Literature:
C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, p. 13, note 1;
J. de Givry, Juilly 1177-1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13, 133

We are grateful to the Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend, Peter Cherry, and Gloria Martinez Leiva for confirming the present painting as a work by the Studio of Velázquez on the basis of photographs. An extensive dossier is available. Jordan-Gschwend noted that Velázquez may have had some participation in the execution of the portrait. We are especially grateful to Gloria Martinez for her help in compiling the following catalogue note.

This is the only known studio version in Brown and Silver of Velázquez’s Portrait of Philip IV in the National Gallery, London, executed in 1631–1632 (195 x 110 cm, Inv. NG1129). The reappearance of this painting allows invaluable insights into Velasquez’s and his workshop’s working practice. Last recorded in 1868, when a hand written comment by the famous French painter Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres, made in Rome in 1840, was cited, describing almost certainly the present painting as a beautiful work by Velázquez, it was hidden for the last 150 years. There is no reference to it in the Witt Library Archive, London. It recently resurfaced upon the closure of the Collège de Juilly, the oldest existing aristocratic school in France.

The ascension of Philip IV to the Spanish throne in 1621 marked a major change in foreign and domestic policy. The main advisor of the king, the Count-Duke of Olivares, persuaded him of the need to regenerate the monarchy and regain the lost prestige during the reign of his father. Economic and political measures to strengthen the royal authority were undertaken. Whilst politically and economically Philips reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Habsburg Empire, the arts flourished into the Siglo de oro, the Golden Age. One of its most prominent characters was Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez. Disciple of Francisco de Herrera the Elder (circa 1590 – circa 1656) and Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644), he is one of the first exponents of the naturalism influenced by Caravaggio in Spain. In 1623 he painted the portrait of the young Philip IV, who immediately summoned him to the court. In 1627 he was appointed ‘ujier de cámara’ and the next year he achieved the desired position of court painter. The arrival of Rubens in Madrid in 1628 marked a definitive turning point in the painter’s career. The influence of the Flemish painter not only changed Velázquez’s way of painting but also encouraged him to travel to Italy, an objective that he fulfilled in 1629. Italy had an enormous impact on Velázquez art. When he came back to Madrid, Philip IV was already eagerly awaiting his return to portray Crown Prince Balthasar Carlos, born during Velázquez’s Roman sojourn (see A. Palomino de Castro y Velasco, El Museo pictórico y escala óptica. II. Práctica de la Pintura y III. El Parnaso español pintoresco y laureado, Madrid, 1715–1724, Madrid 1947, p. 903). Generally, it is believed that this first portrait of the prince is the one currently in the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (128 x 101 cm, Inv. 01.104). This was the first royal portrait in which Velázquez began using a new technique, leaving the forms unmodeled and painting only their visual impressions.

Whilst the exact date of execution is unknown, the portrait of Philip IV in the National Gallery, London (Inv. NG1129) was definitely the first portrait of the King the artist produced after his first Italian sojourn, in that it adopts the softer and more colorful palette of the Venetian school. Life size, it is unlike most portraits of Philip IV, in that it does not show him in his usual wholly black costume. The portrait, as Finaldi points out, could commemorate the ceremony of the oath of allegiance to Prince Baltasar Carlos by the Cortes of Castille that took place in the church of San Jerónimo el Real in Madrid on 7th March 1632 (see G. Finaldi, Philip IV in Brown and Silver, in: Velázquez, exhibition catalogue, London, 2006, p. 174). The London painting was part of one of the most important decorations of the Spanish Habsburgs, the Library in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and was placed next to the portraits of Charles V, Philip II and Philip III (see B. Bassegoda, El Escorial como museo, Barcelona, 2002, p. 329; J. Brown, Philip IV de castaño y plata, in: Velázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck, exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1999, p. 129). In 1810 it was given by King Joseph Bonaparte to the French General Augustin Dessolle, despite the warning of a Spanish official who considered the portrait „[…] the best portrait in Spain of the monarch who most promoted the fine arts, to whom the capital owes its culture, its library and theatres, and to whom Velázquez owed the great honours he received; absent this portrait that was part of the library in the Escorial with the other Spanish Habsburgs princes this series becomes incomplete; without being able to replace him for another of equal merit“ (see B. Bassegoda, op. cit. 2002, p. 329; J Brown, op. cit. 1999, p. 129; G. Finaldi, op. cit. 2006, p. 174; the translations of the texts have been made by Gloria Martinez). Bonaparte nevertheless gave it to Desolle. Desolle‘s daughter sold it after the general‘s death to the English collector William Thomas Beckford, on whose death in 1844 it was inherited by his son-in-law, the 10th Duke of Hamilton. It was bought by the National Gallery at the 1882 Hamilton Palace Sale.

Given the working practice of the Royal Studio, it is remarkable that the Juilly portrait is the only known workshop variant of the London painting known so far. It is striking in the modern simplicity of the design, employing Velázquez’s technique of “stripping away of the remaining vestiges of regal paraphernalia in accordance with the notion that there is no more effective expression of majesty that the royal person himself” (Finaldi 2006, p. 172).

It was after his return from Italy that Velázquez set up his Studio in the Alcázar of Madrid, in a room inside the Gallery of Cierzo, as it is documented by the presence of his first assistants - one of them, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, would even become his son-in-law. Velázquez was now increasingly employed to spread the royal image and to contribute to the monarchies iconography (see J. Portús, Diego Velázquez, 1650-1660. Retrato y cultura cortesana, in: Velázquez y la familia de Philip IV., exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2013, p. 37). Shortly after the execution of the present painting an example of workshop paintings being sent to a foreign court is documented: Portraits of their majesties (”unos retratos de sus Magestades”) by the court painter and his workshop were sent to Vienna, ordered the 24th September 1632. These portraits are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Inv. 314, 731), and they are considered as by Velázquez and the royal workshop (see J. Brown, op. cit., p. 126). The one of the king clearly used the present composition as inspiration, but the king is shown dressed in his usual black. Another portrait based on the present composition but again showing the king in black costume, is a workshop version, today in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (203 x 122 cm, Inv. 296). This demonstrates the working practice of the assistants in the Royal Studio of the Alcazar, who, based on a prime example developed and painted by the master, produced these variants. It is highly likely that Velázquez himself supervised and retouched these royal Effigies to be sent to foreign courts at a final stage, which would indeed appear to be plausible with the present painting as well.

The characteristics of the London painting are here brilliantly captured by the workshop assistants in the Royal Studio. The prototype, possibly the most significant portrait of the King, has been well described as „a harmony in black and silver. “ Philip IV. was a great patron of the arts and he appears to have held the artist in high personal esteem. There are even accounts of his frequent visits to the artists’ studio in the palace. Velazquez, who came from Spain’s minor nobility- the Hidalgo-class, was even admitted into the prestigious Santiago order by the monarch. Not much of this personal sympathy is recognizable in the present painting. Quite appropriate, for a state portrait. The King stands, an impressive figure clad in sombre magnificence, against a table. One feels the chill of his pride as one realizes the coldness of the man of whom it was said that he laughed but three times in his life. The restriction of surrounding areas and the general pose found in earlier portraits of the king are still present, but the subject‘s whole attitude is more relaxed, the flesh tints, probably under the influence of Rubens, are painted with more fluidity, the accents of colour - eyes gleaming like black tortoiseshell, the golden lights on the waves of the hair - are placed with more emphasis, and shapes conveying Baroque dignity, such as the profuse folds of the red curtain, have made their way into the formerly sparse interior. Above all, Velázquez‘s new delight in luxuriant colour is reflected in his depiction of the silk embroidery and the silver and brown tones of the king‘s clothing. Peter Cherry notes that the London Philip IV and also the present painting in fact is the first portrait of the King in which Velázquez employs this „impressionistic“ optical style in the embroidery of the drapery - a hard act to follow for any assistant. In some parts of this picture, especially in the garment, Velázquez stopped modeling the form, such as it is, to paint according to the visual impression. He sought to simplify the painted outlines, but this required a thorough understanding of how the light reflected in in the embroidery represented in the painting. In this Velázquez revealed his genius and striking modernity, and as this technique was incredibly hard to reproduce in the workshop with satisfying results, this “impressionistic” manner may account for the fact that the present painting is the only variant of this type known so far done by Velázquez’ assistants. Portraits of the King in black obviously were easier done, as the Vienna and St. Petersburg versions demonstrate. 

Therefore, the present painting as a workshop version, possibly retouched by the master, is significant as it records a style entirely new and unprecedented in the history of art so far.

This difference can also be seen in the signatures. In the London version, the king is holding in his right hand a paper with the inscription „Senor/Diego Velázquez/ Pintor de V. Mg“ - the opening words of a petition to him from Velázquez. The London painting thus is one of the few portraits signed by Velázquez, marking its importance. In the present painting, the letter is more general- it only contains the Word Senor. This, in words of Gabriele Finaldi: ‘[…] has the form of address that the king had imposed in a decree of 1623: ‘We request and require that when writing to us, nothing more should be placed at the top of the letter or paper than ‘Señor’ (Finaldi op. cit., p. 172). The workshop therefore turned Velázquez’s signature on the prime version into a more general letter to the King. In fact, this ‘Señor’ and of course the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece, are the only hints at royal iconography.

A note on the provenance and early appreciation (a detailed account is available in Martinez-Leivas extensive analysis):

The Collège de Juilly was founded in the 17th century as a Royal Academy for the education of the nobility’s sons. Its collection contained two portraits of Philip IV, the present painting and a full- length inferior copy after the Hermitage portrait. They were documented by Givry : ‘La salle à manger des maîtres, dite salle Louis XIII’: ‘[…] in which the portraits of the first four Oratoire superiores were placed, and two large portraits of Philip IV of Spain’ (see J. Givry, Juilly 1177–1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13), and moved in times of war: ‘The old Empire style furnire, the old paintings, prints, both Velázquez’s canvasses, all that could serve to the history of the Collège was gathered in the room adjoining the library’ (see Givry op. cit., p. 133). The present painting was left to the college by Abbée Eugene de Régny, a professor of the college and an interesting personality. A prominent Catholic philosopher and heir to the great fortune of his banking family he had many royal connections. He was the son of Arthémond de Régny, financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece, whilst his maternal grandfather, Baldassare Castellini, was consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Spain. The existence of several works attributed to Ribera in Régnys collection point to a possible Neapolitan or Spanish provenance through the Castellini family (see on Régny: C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, pp. 541-542). Hamel gives an account of the bequest: ‘[…] which have been kindly donated by the abbot of Régny, and on which the illustrious Ingres has left a note, written in his hand, in 1840, in Rome, where they were then: 1º Portrait of Philip IV, as big as natural size, by Velázquez, very good. 2º Another portrait of Philip IV, by the same […]’ (see Hamel, op. cit., p. 13, note 1).
Régnys collection apparently was in Rome in 1840. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, then Director of the French Academy at the Villa Medici, saw the collection and left a note, in which he remarked upon the quality of the first painting, which must have been the present one. Ingres appreciation is of interest, as the famous French painter was a great admirer of the work of Velázquez (see C. G. Navarro, Ingres y los pintores españoles. De Velázquez a Picasso, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, pp. 72-73). The Spanish painter Federico de Madrazo, who personally met Ingres in Rome, said: ‘I know that Mr. Ingres likes Velázquez very much’ (Navarro, op. cit., p. 73).

Additional image:
Fig 1: The Librar y of the Escorial, with the series of famous por traits of the Spanish kings, the prime version of the por trait of Philip IV (The National Galler y, London, Inv. NG1129) has been missing ever since 1810, when King Joseph Bonaparte gave it to one of his Generals
Fig 2: The Royal College de Juilly, where the present painting was conserved from before 1868–2016

Provenance:
possibly Baldassare Castellini, consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Cartagena (Spain), Marseilles and Genoa, around the second half of the XVIIIth century;
possibly inherited by his daughter Catherine Castellini, who in 1798 married Arthémond de Regny (Financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece in Athens between 1831-1841);
by 1840 in the collection of their son Abbé Eugéne de Regny (1804-1883) where the painting was most probably described by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres in Rome;
before 1868 bequeathed to the Royal College de Juilly, France (very likely in 1865, a date which is noted as an Inventory Number on the back of the original frame);
until 2016 College de Juilly

Literature:
C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, p. 13, note 1;
J. de Givry, Juilly 1177-1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13, 133

We are grateful to the Annemarie Jordan-Gschwend, Peter Cherry, and Gloria Martinez Leiva for confirming the present painting as a work by the Studio of Velázquez on the basis of photographs. An extensive dossier is available. Jordan-Gschwend noted that Velázquez may have had some participation in the execution of the portrait. We are especially grateful to Gloria Martinez for her help in compiling the following catalogue note.

This is the only known studio version in Brown and Silver of Velázquez’s Portrait of Philipp IV in the National Gallery, London, executed in 1631–1632 (195 x 110 cm, Inv. NG1129). The reappearance of this painting allows invaluable insights into Velasquez’s and his workshop’s working practice. Last recorded in 1868, when a hand written comment by the famous French painter Jean Auguste Dominque Ingres, made in Rome in 1840, was cited, describing almost certainly the present painting as a beautiful work by Velázquez, it was hidden for the last 150 years. There is no reference to it in the Witt Library Archive, London. It recently resurfaced upon the closure of the Collège de Juilly, the oldest existing aristocratic school in France.

The ascension of Philip IV to the Spanish throne in 1621 marked a major change in foreign and domestic policy. The main advisor of the king, the Count-Duke of Olivares, persuaded him of the need to regenerate the monarchy and regain the lost prestige during the reign of his father. Economic and political measures to strengthen the royal authority were undertaken. Whilst politically and economically Philips reign marked the beginning of the decline of the Habsburg Empire, the arts flourished into the Siglo de oro, the Golden Age. One of its most prominent characters was Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez. Disciple of Francisco de Herrera the Elder (circa 1590 – circa 1656) and Francisco Pacheco (1564–1644), he is one of the first exponents of the naturalism influenced by Caravaggio in Spain. In 1623 he painted the portrait of the young Philip IV, who immediately summoned him to the court. In 1627 he was appointed ‘ujier de cámara’ and the next year he achieved the desired position of court painter. The arrival of Rubens in Madrid in 1628 marked a definitive turning point in the painter’s career. The influence of the Flemish painter not only changed Velázquez’s way of painting but also encouraged him to travel to Italy, an objective that he fulfilled in 1629. Italy had an enormous impact on Velázquez art. When he came back to Madrid, Philip IV was already eagerly awaiting his return to portray Crown Prince Balthasar Carlos, born during Velázquez’s Roman sojourn (see A. Palomino de Castro y Velasco, El Museo pictórico y escala óptica. II. Práctica de la Pintura y III. El Parnaso español pintoresco y laureado, Madrid, 1715–1724, Madrid 1947, p. 903). Generally, it is believed that this first portrait of the prince is the one currently in the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston (128 x 101 cm, Inv. 01.104). This was the first royal portrait in which Velázquez began using a new technique, leaving the forms unmodeled and painting only their visual impressions.

Whilst the exact date of execution is unknown, the portrait of Philipp IV in the National Gallery, London (Inv. NG1129) was definitely the first portrait of the King the artist produced after his first Italian sojourn, in that it adopts the softer and more colorful palette of the Venetian school. Life size, it is unlike most portraits of Philip IV, in that it does not show him in his usual wholly black costume. The portrait, as Finaldi points out, could commemorate the ceremony of the oath of allegiance to Prince Baltasar Carlos by the Cortes of Castille that took place in the church of San Jerónimo el Real in Madrid on 7th March 1632 (see G. Finaldi, Philip IV in Brown and Silver, in: Velázquez, exhibition catalogue, London, 2006, p. 174). The London painting was part of one of the most important decorations of the Spanish Habsburgs, the Library in the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and was placed next to the portraits of Charles V, Philip II and Philip III (see B. Bassegoda, El Escorial como museo, Barcelona, 2002, p. 329; J. Brown, Philip IV de castaño y plata, in: Velázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck, exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 1999, p. 129). In 1810 it was given by King Joseph Bonaparte to the French General Augustin Dessolle, despite the warning of a Spanish official who considered the portrait „[…] the best portrait in Spain of the monarch who most promoted the fine arts, to whom the capital owes its culture, its library and theatres, and to whom Velázquez owed the great honours he received; absent this portrait that was part of the library in the Escorial with the other Spanish Habsburgs princes this series becomes incomplete; without being able to replace him for another of equal merit“ (see B. Bassegoda, op. cit. 2002, p. 329; J Brown, op. cit. 1999, p. 129; G. Finaldi, op. cit. 2006, p. 174; the translations of the texts have been made by Gloria Martinez). Bonaparte nevertheless gave it to Desolle. Desolle‘s daughter sold it after the general‘s death to the English collector William Thomas Beckford, on whose death in 1844 it was inherited by his son-in-law, the 10th Duke of Hamilton. It was bought by the National Gallery at the 1882 Hamilton Palace Sale.

Given the working practice of the Royal Studio, it is remarkable that the Juilly portrait is the only known workshop variant of the London painting known so far. It is striking in the modern simplicity of the design, employing Velázquez’s technique of “stripping away of the remaining vestiges of regal paraphernalia in accordance with the notion that there is no more effective expression of majesty that the royal person himself” (Finaldi 2006, p. 172).

It was after his return from Italy that Velázquez set up his Studio in the Alcázar of Madrid, in a room inside the Gallery of Cierzo, as it is documented by the presence of his first assistants - one of them, Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, would even become his son-in-law. Velázquez was now increasingly employed to spread the royal image and to contribute to the monarchies iconography (see J. Portús, Diego Velázquez, 1650-1660. Retrato y cultura cortesana, in: Velázquez y la familia de Philip IV., exhibition catalogue, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2013, p. 37). Shortly after the execution of the present painting an example of workshop paintings being sent to a foreign court is documented: Portraits of their majesties (”unos retratos de sus Magestades”) by the court painter and his workshop were sent to Vienna, ordered the 24th September 1632. These portraits are now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Inv. 314, 731), and they are considered as by Velázquez and the royal workshop (see J. Brown, op. cit., p. 126). The one of the king clearly used the present composition as inspiration, but the king is shown dressed in his usual black. Another portrait based on the present composition but again showing the king in black costume, is a workshop version, today in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg (203 x 122 cm, Inv. 296). This demonstrates the working practice of the assistants in the Royal Studio of the Alcazar, who, based on a prime example developed and painted by the master, produced these variants. It is highly likely that Velázquez himself supervised and retouched these royal Effigies to be sent to foreign courts at a final stage, which would indeed appear to be plausible with the present painting as well.

The characteristics of the London painting are here brilliantly captured by the workshop assistants in the Royal Studio. The prototype, possibly the most significant portrait of the King, has been well described as „a harmony in black and silver. “ Philipp IV. was a great patron of the arts and he appears to have held the artist in high personal esteem. There are even accounts of his frequent visits to the artists’ studio in the palace. Velazquez, who came from Spain’s minor nobility- the Hidalgo-class, was even admitted into the prestigious Santiago order by the monarch. Not much of this personal sympathy is recognizable in the present painting. Quite appropriate, for a state portrait. The King stands, an impressive figure clad in sombre magnificence, against a table. One feels the chill of his pride as one realizes the coldness of the man of whom it was said that he laughed but three times in his life. The restriction of surrounding areas and the general pose found in earlier portraits of the king are still present, but the subject‘s whole attitude is more relaxed, the flesh tints, probably under the influence of Rubens, are painted with more fluidity, the accents of colour - eyes gleaming like black tortoiseshell, the golden lights on the waves of the hair - are placed with more emphasis, and shapes conveying Baroque dignity, such as the profuse folds of the red curtain, have made their way into the formerly sparse interior. Above all, Velázquez‘s new delight in luxuriant colour is reflected in his depiction of the silk embroidery and the silver and brown tones of the king‘s clothing. Peter Cherry notes that the London Philipp IV and also the present painting in fact is the first portrait of the King in which Velázquez employs this „impressionistic“ optical style in the embroidery of the drapery - a hard act to follow for any assistant. In some parts of this picture, especially in the garment, Velázquez stopped modeling the form, such as it is, to paint according to the visual impression. He sought to simplify the painted outlines, but this required a thorough understanding of how the light reflected in in the embroidery represented in the painting. In this Velázquez revealed his genius and striking modernity, and as this technique was incredibly hard to reproduce in the workshop with satisfying results, this “impressionistic” manner may account for the fact that the present painting is the only variant of this type known so far done by Velázquez’ assistants. Portraits of the King in black obviously were easier done, as the Vienna and St. Petersburg versions demonstrate. 

Therefore, the present painting as a workshop version, possibly retouched by the master, is significant as it records a style entirely new and unprecedented in the history of art so far.

This difference can also be seen in the signatures. In the London version, the king is holding in his right hand a paper with the inscription „Senor/Diego Velázquez/ Pintor de V. Mg“ - the opening words of a petition to him from Velázquez. The London painting thus is one of the few portraits signed by Velázquez, marking its importance. In the present painting, the letter is more general- it only contains the Word Senor. This, in words of Gabriele Finaldi: ‘[…] has the form of address that the king had imposed in a decree of 1623: ‘We request and require that when writing to us, nothing more should be placed at the top of the letter or paper than ‘Señor’ (Finaldi op. cit., p. 172). The workshop therefore turned Velázquez’s signature on the prime version into a more general letter to the King. In fact, this ‘Señor’ and of course the chain of the Order of the Golden Fleece, are the only hints at royal iconography.

A note on the provenance and early appreciation (a detailed account is available in Martinez-Leivas extensive analysis):

The Collège de Juilly was founded in the 17th century as a Royal Academy for the education of the nobility’s sons. Its collection contained two portraits of Philipp IV, the present painting and a full- length inferior copy after the Hermitage portrait. They were documented by Givry : ‘La salle à manger des maîtres, dite salle Louis XIII’: ‘[…] in which the portraits of the first four Oratoire superiores were placed, and two large portraits of Philip IV of Spain’ (see J. Givry, Juilly 1177–1977. Huit siècles d`histoire. Mayenne, 1976, p. 13), and moved in times of war: ‘The old Empire style furnire, the old paintings, prints, both Velázquez’s canvasses, all that could serve to the history of the Collège was gathered in the room adjoining the library’ (see Givry op. cit., p. 133). The present painting was left to the college by Abbée Eugene de Régny, a professor of the college and an interesting personality. A prominent Catholic philosopher and heir to the great fortune of his banking family he had many royal connections. He was the son of Arthémond de Régny, financial adviser of King Othon I of Greece, whilst his maternal grandfather, Baldassare Castellini, was consul of the Kingdom of Naples in Spain. The existence of several works attributed to Ribera in Régnys collection point to a possible Neapolitan or Spanish provenance through the Castellini family (see on Régny: C. Hamel, Histoire de l’abbaye et du collège de Juillly depuis leurs origines jusqu’à nos jours, Paris, 1868, pp. 541-542). Hamel gives an account of the bequest: ‘[…] which have been kindly donated by the abbot of Régny, and on which the illustrious Ingres has left a note, written in his hand, in 1840, in Rome, where they were then: 1º Portrait of Philip IV, as big as natural size, by Velázquez, very good. 2º Another portrait of Philip IV, by the same […]’ (see Hamel, op. cit., p. 13, note 1).
Régnys collection apparently was in Rome in 1840. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, then Director of the French Academy at the Villa Medici, saw the collection and left a note, in which he remarked upon the quality of the first painting, which must have been the present one. Ingres appreciation is of interest, as the famous French painter was a great admirer of the work of Velázquez (see C. G. Navarro, Ingres y los pintores españoles. De Velázquez a Picasso, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2015, pp. 72-73). The Spanish painter Federico de Madrazo, who personally met Ingres in Rome, said: ‘I know that Mr. Ingres likes Velázquez very much’ (Navarro, op. cit., p. 73).

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