Isabel la Católica (c.1848)

Madrazo y Kuntz, Luis de (1825-1897)

Isabel la Católica
Oil on canvas, 225 x 140.8 cm
Museo del PradoMadrid

The Chronological Series of the Kings of Spain was a museum project planned in 1847 by José de Madrazo to adorn four of the new rooms at the Real Museo de Pinturas (Royal Museum of Paintings), then under his direction. At the height of the confrontation between the supporters of Isabella II and the Carlists, who denied the sovereign’s right to occupy the throne because she was a woman, the queen assented to the creation and display of a portrait gallery that would represent all the preceding monarchs in chronological order. To fill the gaps of the medieval kings, of whom there were no images in the Royal Collections, portraits were commissioned from a number of young painters. At the same time, given that the clear political purpose of the series was to provide visual legitimisation for Isabella’s right to the crown, a special effort was made to represent the queens of Spain’s history. (MNP)

See also:

• Isabel I de Castilla (1451-1504)