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Prince Baltasar Carlos (1629–1646) was the son of Philip IV of Spain by his first Queen Isabel de Bourbon. He was idolized by his parents but died of fever at the age of fifteen in 1646. Here he is shown aged about three years old. Despite the demands of etiquette, the formality of pose and the stiffness of dress, the picture demonstrates Velázquez’s consummate ability to evoke the spirit of childhood.
oil on canvas
H 117.8 x W 95.9 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1853; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897