Spanish Royalty: Philip IV (1621-65)

Figure 1.--Bartolomé González y Serrano painted Infante (Prince) Philip with his sister the Infanta Anna (1601-1666). They were painted in 1612. Philipo would have been about 7 years old.

Philip IV (1605 – 1665) had a long reign a king of Spain (1621-65). Philip suceeded his father, Philip III (1621). He was sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal (as Philip III,) until 1640. Philip was still a teenager when his father died. Spain was effectively governe by Philip’s valido (chief minister), the Conde-Duque de Olivares who largely controlled Spain for 22 years. Olivares was determined to reverse the decline of Spanish power and to smash Protesatantism. He saw the widening of the Thirty Years’ War as an opportunity for Spain. He wa particularly anxious to conquer the Dutch Republic. He ended the Twelve Years’ Truce of 1609 (1621). He acted in close alliance with the Austrian (imperial) branch of the Habsburg dynasty. Spanish armies won some notable victories. The seized Breda from the Dutch (1626). They defeated the Swedes and Weimarians at Nördlingen (1634). France which had been ascting covertlyagain the Hapsburgs intervenrd and formally declared war (1635). Spain early successes eded and military reverses followed. Catalonia and of Portugal rebelled (1640). Portugal achieved independent under John IV of the House of Bragança. As a result of the reverses, Philip finally dismissed Olivares (1643). He appointed Don Luis Méndez de Haro, who held his post until his death (166)1. Philip did not asppoint another valido. He came to rely on the advice nun María de Ágreda, who was a mystic. She wrote to Philip on both spiritual matters as well as affairs of state. At the end of his reign, the Spanish empire reached its maximum territorial reach. Spain had however, as a result of military reverses and economic and social distress declined to a second-class power. Philip’s first wife was Elizabeth), the daughter of Henry IV of France. She fied (1644) and Philip married Maria Anna, daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand III. Philip is most notable for his poetry and the "astonishing enthusiasm" with which he amassed art works. Philip was a friend and patron of Velázquez, pne of te most renowned Spanish artists. Many of whose Velázquez works portray Philip and his court. He was suceeded by his son Charles


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Created: 7:28 AM 10/12/2009
Last updated: 7:28 AM 10/12/2009