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Bust Portrait of King Philip IV Supported by an Eagle

Bust Portrait of King Philip IV Supported by an Eagle, 1671

Alessandro Rondoni
Italian, c. 1644 - c. 1715
Bust: 34 x 26 x 16 in. (86.4 x 66.0 x 40.6 cm); Pedestal 51-1/8 in. (130 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

Not on View

Certain elements of this imposing portrait bust offer clues to the sitter’s identity. The square collar suggests a date, since it is fashioned after the Spanish golilla that was stylish around 1670. The lamb suspended across the breastplate represents the Order of the Golden Fleece, and the eagle supporting the bust on its open wings refers to the royal Hapsburg coat of arms. These details have been interpreted to identify the subject as either King Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665), or his illegitimate son Don Juan José of Austria (1629–1679)—both members of the Hapsburg family, and both recipients of the Knighthood of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Alessandro Rondoni is known for carving the figure of St. Susanna, one of the 140 sculptures of saints that line the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He was particularly appreciated for his skill in recreating antique sculptures for the gardens and palazzo of noble Roman families.

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