DIEGO VELÀZQUEZ’S PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IV, SYMBOLISM OF ROYALTY AND AUTHORITY (Coursework Sample)
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DIEGO VELАZQUEZ’S PORTRAIT OF PHILIP IV, SYMBOLISM OF ROYALTY AND AUTHORITY
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Art and other forms of visual evidence serve the same historical purpose as written sources. Scholars pursuing a better understanding of intercultural influences and connections can use historical artifacts as reliable reference materials. Notably, the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries were characterized by baroque and renaissance art that emphasized on portraiture. These included visual depictions that represented the distinctive appearance of an individual and held as an item of historical analysis. Certainly, the graphic depictions of influential individuals have provided answers to historians to study the paintings of popular monarchs. One particular painting that serves this purpose was Diego Velazquez's Portrait of Philip IV. This paper aims at studying the motives behind the painting of a King Phillip IV’s portraiture and its function as a representation of power and authority in Spain and its colonies.
It is important to examine the Phillip IV depiction by Velazquez as an illustration of the monarch’s imperial stance in the political and social confusion that gripped Spain and its Mediterranean colonies during the 16th and 17th century. However, mentioning Velazquez as a mere court painter does not do justice to the celebrated painter. This is because he made a significant contribution towards Philip IV’s court and political career through his art masterpieces. This was later evidenced by his appointment as the palace Marshal and tasked with executing multifarious duties relating to interior arrangements within the establishment. Some of these functions included acting as the quartermaster during the royal progresses and supervising all the details of decoration, sanitation, heating, and lighting. Such narratives of Velazquez depict the culture that defined the royal court in Spain and explains the artist’s preoccupation with tradition, which was evident in his portrayals of Philip IV.
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