About this artwork
Although the reign of King Philip IV of Spain (1605–65) was plagued by political and military decay, the king is perhaps best known for his patronage of the arts, which included many portrait commissions from Peter Paul Rubens. In this etching made by Jacob Louys after a portrait by Rubens, rich decorations of fruit, vegetables, and a wreath of acanthus leaves surround the lavishly costumed king. The artist further identified Philip with his royal lineage by featuring his rather prominent and protruding “Hapsburg lip” and a massive gold chain with a pendant of a small sheep, symbolizing his membership in the powerful Order of the Golden Fleece.
Active in Flanders and the Netherlands, Pieter Soutman was an accomplished painter, draftsman, and printmaker who also acted as a print publisher. The works in this portrait series of the dukes of Burgundy and their wives are distinguished by their elaborate borders, which Soutman designed and engraved himself. The portraits in the center of the compositions are adapted from compositions originated by the favored artists of the Burgundian courts—Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Titian, and, in these two examples (1995.221.1, 1995.221.2), Peter Paul Rubens. Like the genealogical tree represented nearby (2015.13), this series reflects the 17th-century obsession with dynastic succession.
Currently Off View
- Prints and Drawings
- Jacob Louys
- Philip IV, King of Spain, plate 12 from Duces Burgundiae (Dukes of Burgundy)
- Published 1644
- Engraving and etching in black on ivory laid paper
- 407 × 280 mm (plate); 463 × 334 mm (sheet)
- Robert Chase Endowment