NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Joanna of Castile

Juan de Flandes
Dutch c.1465–1519
Juana or Joanna of Castile, called `The Mad' (1479-1555) c.1500
oil on panel
29.5 x 19.3 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie (Inv.-Nr. GG_3873)
Photo: Bridgeman Art Library

Lived: 6 November 1479 – 12 April 1555

Reigned: 26 November 1504 – 12 April 1555

Married to Philip I.

Daughter of Ferdinand II and Isabella of Castile. Joanna’s life was tragically overshadowed by mental illness that today would probably be recognised as depression. Her emotional instability rather harshly earned her the sobriquet 'Joanna the Mad'. After her husband Philip I’s premature death in 1506 her mental health deteriorated to the point where she was confined in the castle of Tordesillas until her death. Isabella's legend was an inspiration to artists in the 15th and 16th centuries and in the 19th century she was the subject of many Spanish historical paintings.