Sponsor(s): Department of Art and Archaeology
Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665) began his reign in 1621, at the age of sixteen, with the intent of restoring Spanish might and reputation internationally, in response to a period of perceived erosion and decline. The near-simultaneous end of a twelve-year truce with the Dutch Republic, which resulted in the resumption of warfare, left no doubt that the royal project would require significant military efforts and strong leadership. Prominent artists of the time were enlisted by the crown to celebrate Philip's aptitude. This lecture explores the significant place and function of armor in this endeavor through the stratagems and works of two celebrated painters, Pieter Paul Rubens and Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez.