NGV National Gallery of Victoria

Philip III

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz
Spanish 1553–1608
Philip III (1578-1621) King of Spain 1606
oil on canvas
204.0 x 122.0 cm
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (P02562)

Lived: 14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621

Reigned: 13 September 1598 – 31 March 1621

Married to Marguerite of Austria.

The only child of Philip II and Anna of Austria to reach adulthood. Philip III was a negligent and weak ruler, who left the administration of the kingdom to his chief minister, the Duke of Lerma. This led to a regime based on nepotism, resulting in a government riddled with corruption and mismanagement. The artistic trends initiated by Philip III’s father continued and the Royal Collection increased mainly through the flow of diplomatic gifts, although some Flemish and Italian paintings were purchased. Because of Philip III’s pious character these paintings were fundamentally of a religious nature. The school of art at Madrid became very important, as was the role of the court painter, both circumstances elevating the position of Spanish artists.