NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Ferdinand II

Michel Sittow
Reval c.1468–1525/6
King Ferdinand of Aragon
oil on panel
29.0 x 22.0 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie (Inv.-Nr. GG 830)

Lived: 10 March 1452 – 23 January 1516

Reigned: 15 January 1475 – 26 November 1504 (co-ruled with Isabella I of Castile)

Married to Isabella I of Castile. 

Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, was already King of Sicily when he married Isabella I, Queen of Castile and Léon in 1469. After regaining the Moorish kingdom of Granada (148192), he united the disparate kingdoms in Spain into a unified country and instigated Spain’s modern period of imperial expansion into the Americas. When another branch of the House of Aragon died out Ferdinand II also became King of Naples. Both Ferdinand II and Isabella were devout Catholics and pursued a policy of religious unity, which included the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. In 1478 they established the Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Ferdinand and Isabella also undertook an extensive program of building in major cities throughout Spain. The fusion of Netherlandish, Italian Renaissance and Moorish styles that Isabella liked in particular, led to the development of the Hispano-Flemish style, a particularly Spanish form of decorated Gothic. However, Ferdinand II was less interested in the arts than his wife.