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Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo, Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning

Key facts
Full title Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning
Artist Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo
Artist dates about 1612/16; died 1667
Date made 1666
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 196.8 × 146 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Inscribed
Acquisition credit Presented by Rosalind, Countess of Carlisle, 1913
Inventory number NG2926
Location Room 30
Collection Main Collection
Queen Mariana of Spain in Mourning
Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo

Seated in a palatial interior, Queen Mariana of Spain is in mourning – she wears a white wimple and the black habit of widow’s weeds. This portrait – one of Mazo’s finest works – was painted the year after the death of her husband Philip IV, King of Spain. Their son and heir, Charles, was too young to take to the throne, leaving Mariana to rule as regent.

She sits on a throne-like chair in the Alcázar, the royal palace in Madrid, which was destroyed by fire in 1734. Although represented as a wife and mother, Mariana holds a petition in her right hand, alluding to her official duties, on which are inscribed Mazo’s signature and the date 1666.

A young Charles appears in the background, accompanied by servants. Beyond him stands the gilded ‘toy’ carriage he used to move around the royal palace. Charles was a fragile child, and his death in 1700, without an heir, marked the end of Habsburg rule in Spain.

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