Art: Spanish Gold in England

Of course, the face is familiar. Like the pink convexities of Rubens' child-wife Hélène Fourment, it is one of the obsessive human presences of 17th century painting: Philip IV of Spain, growing older in the long succession of Diego Velásquez's court portraits. This one was painted late in the monarch's life, around 1653. The King's features—the bulbed Habsburg lip, the forehead's waxy promontory, the thick ball of a chin, the upswept mustache that Salvador Dali would appropriate and vulgarize—must have been more familiar to Velásquez than the map of Spain itself (see color...

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