On display for the first time in the Museum’s galleries is Portrait of Philip III by Velázquez, a work that has been donated by William B. Jordan to American Friends of the Prado Museum, which has ceded it to the Museum as a temporary deposit.
Velázquez’s painting is displayed in the Prado’s principal gallery alongside Philip II offering the Infante don Fernando to Victory by Titian, which can now be seen following its recent restoration undertaken with the support of Fundación Iberdrola España, a Benefactor Member of the Museum’s Restoration Programme. Titian’s painting hung in the same room (the Salón Nuevo in the Alcázar in Madrid) as The Expulsion of the Moriscos by Velázquez, a painting directly connected with the new portrait of Philip III, which was executed as a study for it.
Portrait of Philip III by Velázquez was discovered and donated last year by William B. Jordan to American Friends of the Prado Museum, which has deposited it with the Museum. It is now on display in Room 24 of the Villanueva Building.
This donation and long-term deposit at the Prado will assist in completing the Museum’s presentation of Velázquez as a court portraitist given that this is a painting previously unknown to scholars which casts new light on one of the key works painted by the artist during his early years at court: The Expulsion of the Moriscos.
For this first public presentation of the new deposit, the Museum has decided to display it in one of its most emblematic spaces, at the heart of the permanent collection and next to Philip II offering the Infante don Fernando to Victory by Titian, which has very recently been restored.
Also on temporary display here are Philip III by Pedro Vidal and Philip IV in Armour and The Infante don Carlos, both by Velazquez. Together they create a context for an understanding of the portrait of Philip III and for the reasons behind its attribution to Velázquez.