NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Mariana of Austria

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez
Spanish 1599–1660
Mariana of Austria, Queen of Spain 1652
oil on canvas
234.2 x 132.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P01191)

Lived: 24 December 1634 – 16 May 1696

Second wife and niece of Philip IV.

Mariana of Austria was originally betrothed to Philip IV’s son, Balthasar Carlos. Upon the Infante’s death only three months later, Philip IV married his niece himself. He needed a male heir to continue the royal bloodline and his first wife Elisabeth of France had died a few years previously. The painting Lot and his daughters (c.1634) by Francesco Furini was given to Philip IV by Ferdinand II de Medici, Duke of Tuscany, on the occasion of the king’s marriage to Mariana. After the death of her husband, Mariana ruled as Regent, and as such steered royal patronage until the accession of their son, Charles II.