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Prince Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School
  • Studio of Diego Velázquez (1599 - 1660)
  • Prince Baltasar Carlos in the Riding School
  • Spain
  • Date: c. 1640–45
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 130 x 102 cm
  • Object size: 163 x 132.5 x 17 cm
  • Inv: P6
  • Location: Great Gallery
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Further Reading
  • This highly original equestrian portrait shows Prince Baltasar Carlos (1629–1646), the heir to the Spanish throne, as an accomplished rider. The mastery of the Prince’s mount foretells his strong ability to rule. The scene takes place before the Prince’s apartments in the Buen Retiro Palace outside Madrid. The painting takes us deep into the heart of the court, showing us areas not commonly depicted in painting.

    The Prince is about to receive a lance from his riding master, presumably to practice tilting. The setting is a tiltyard in which the Prince would have practiced jousting, first and foremost by training his horse to run straight at the tilt. Figures in the viewing gallery in the background, along with other spectators, reflect the courtly spectacles around such royal training.

    The authorship of this painting has been questioned as well as its relationship to another version of the composition painted by Velázquez in 1636, today in a private collection.

    Samuel Mawson purchased the painting for the 4th Marquess of Hertford in 1856, as by Velázquez, for the substantial sum of 1,210 guineas.