Just arrived to Madrid from Rome, Diego da Silva y Velázquez was commissioned the portrait of the heir to Spanish throne, Prince Baltasar Carlos. The eldest son of Philip IV, then sixteen months old, poses in military attire with an scepter and a red band. By his side a dwarf toddler with acondroplasia whose identity is disputed (Moreno Villa, Brown, holding an apple in his left hand and one bell in his right hand. It would be both the first portrait done to the heir of the Spanish Crown as well as the first portrait of his series of court jesters. Performed right after his first trip to Italy the Portrait of Baltasar Carlos with a Dwarf is said to display traits of maturity of Velazquez, such as the mastery with the brush obvious in the hair before.
While Moreno Villa in his Locos, enanos, negros y niños palaciegos; Gente de placer que tuvieron los Austrias en la corte española desde 1563 a 1700 takes for granted that he is no other but Francisco Lezcano also known as “El nino de Vallecas” (Moreno Villa, 108), but Jonathan Brown (1986) casts out this possibility based on the journal of the Count Duke of Olivares, at the time Prime Minister of Philip the IV, and exerted direct supervision on his court painter.Melania Moscoso, 2009 ©
This obra by Representations of Disability in Spanish Baroque Portraiture:Velazquez´s jesters is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento 3.0 Estados Unidos License.
Based on a work at caperucitacoja.blogspot.com.