Politics, Painting and Presentation: Velázquez’s Equestrian Portraits for the Hall of Realms at Buen Retiro

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Student Presentation

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Janice Neri


This research seeks to understand how the Count Duke of Olivares’ political agenda affected the arrangement and content of Diego Velázquez’s five equestrian portraits made for the Hall of Realms in the Buen Retiro Palace in 17th century Spain. Through iconographic and comparative analysis of the equestrian portraits I will show that they illustrate Olivares’ impact on the paintings. I also examine the reasons behind Olivares’ energetic control of these paintings, specifically the portrayal of King Philip IV in the Hall.

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