Portrait of King Philip III by Diego Velasquez

Portrait of King Philip III by Diego Velasquez

Painting of the Spanish artist Diego Velazquez “Portrait of King Philip III.” The size of the portrait is 305 x 320 cm, canvas, oil. Painter Velasquez created a posthumous portrait of the late father of the living Spanish monarch Philip IV. Philip III of Habsburg, the King of Spain and Portugal since 1598, the son of Philip II of Habsburg and his fourth wife, Anne of Austria. Already in his youth, the weak-willedness of Philip’s infiltration and the inability to manage the affairs of the state became evident; much more than Philip III interested in hunting and court festivities, which was combined

with deep religiosity.

The era of King Philip III was a period of comprehension by the best minds of the Spanish nation of the past and present of his country, the period of the Golden Age of Spanish culture, the time of Cervantes and Lope de Vega. By the beginning of the 17th century, Spain’s economic decline had become an undeniable reality.

Urgent socio-economic and political reforms were required, but the government of the favorite of Philip III of the Duke of Lerma did little in this respect. At the same time, clerical red tape, bribery and embezzlement embraced unprecedented scope.

Lazy, ignorant and superstitious, King Philip III surrounded himself with incompetent ministers, who thought only of their enrichment at the expense of the treasury and the people; people poorer due to bad administration and extortion of fiscal officials, and the royal court was drowned in insane luxury.

In the Netherlands in the early years of the 17th century, the Spanish commander Ambrosio Spinola managed to achieve important victories over the Dutch, but a fatal shortage of money crossed out these successes and forced the Spaniards to conclude a twelve-year truce in 1609, in fact recognizing the independence of the northern provinces of the Netherlands that had broken away from Spain. Otherwise, by the end of the reign of Philip III, Spain retained vast possessions in the Old and New World, and imperial ambitions. However, the economic foundation of the Spanish Empire was irreparably destroyed.

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