Discover a striking portrait at Ickworth

The portrait by Velzáquez is on display at Ickworth, Suffolk. © 41356/John Hammond

The portrait by Velzáquez is on display at Ickworth, Suffolk.

Prince Balthasar Carlos (1629-46) was the only and cherished son of King Philip IV of Spain. He is shown in a hunting costume in a portrait by the court painter Don Diego de Silva Velázquez. The portrait hangs at Ickworth.

In 17th-century Spain hunting was an exclusively noble activity. Paintings like this would have hung in royal hunting lodges, to which only those of the highest rank were admitted.

This explains the understatement and simplicity of this portrait: in such an exclusive setting it would have been unnecessary to emphasise the status of the heir to the throne.

Visit Ickworth to see the portrait in all its glory.