NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Maria Louisa of Savoy

Spanish 18th century
María Louisa of Savoy, first wife of Philip V c.1705–09
oil on canvas
203.0 x 139.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P05393)

Lived: 17 September 1688 – 14 February 1714

First wife of Philip V.

Maria Louisa was thirteen when she married the seventeen-year-old King Philip V. Not only was she loved by her husband but because of her mature and conscientious temperament she was beloved of the Spanish people. She was a loyal and supportive consort who ruled remarkably effectively as Regent during Philip V’s absences, despite her extreme youth. Maria Louisa and Philip had the rooms of the old Alcázar redecorated in the French palace style, a change that no doubt made them feel more at home. Maria Louisa had four children, two whom died young, before dying of tuberculosis herself aged twenty-five.