NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Elisabeth of France

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
Spanish 1599–1660
Elisabeth of France, wife of Philip IV, on horseback 1635–36
oil on canvas
301.0 x 314.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P01179)
Hasselblad H3D

Lived: 22 November 1602 – 6 October 1644

First wife of Philip IV.

Elisabeth was the eldest daughter of King Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici. A double marriage, intended to strengthen ties between France and Spain, was negotiated, whereby she would marry the future Philip IV and her brother, King Louis XIII of France, would marry Philip’s sister, the Infanta Anne. Elisabeth was married to Philip IV for 29 years, during which time she gave birth to eight children, only one of whom grew to adulthood, the Infanta Maria Theresa, who married her cousin King Louis IV of France. Their great-grandson Philip, Duke of Anjou, became King of Spain, from whom the current King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, is descended.