NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Isabel of Portugal

Italian 1485/90–1576
The Empress Isabel of Portugal 1548
oil on canvas
117.0 x 98.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P00415)

Lived: 24 October 1503 – 1 May 1539

Wife and cousin of Charles I.

Although it was a politically arranged marriage, Isabel and Charles were instantly attracted to one another. Isabel was Charles’s greatest stalwart, ruling Spain competently during his absences. Sadly she died after giving birth to their sixth child. Charles I was so devastated that he never re-married and he wore black for the rest of his life signifying his perpetual mourning.