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Infante Luis Antonio Bourbon

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Infante Luis Antonio Bourbon

Artist: Antonio González Ruiz (Spanish, 1711–1788)
Culture: Spanish
Date: c. 1729–1730
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
20 1/16 x 16 1/8 inches (51 x 41 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Label Text:This portrait depicts the infant Luis de Bourbon (1727 – 1785), the youngest son of King Philip V of Spain (1683 – 1746). The young prince wears an elaborate dress, traditional clothing in the early 1700s for royal children until they reached the age of five or six. Antonio González Ruiz, appointed court painter by King Philip V in 1739, incorporated religious symbols into this portrait and emphasized these details by illuminating them with light. Luis is shown holding a golden orb surmounted by a cross in his left hand, while his right hand is extended in a traditional blessing gesture often used by Christ in religious images. He wears a cross necklace and three rays of light emanate from the top of the child's head, also depicted in representations of the Christ child as savior of the world. The inclusion of these religious components indicates the child’s intended future in the Catholic Church: Luis de Bourbon was made a Cardinal at the age of eight before serving as Archbishop of Toledo several years later.
Provenance: Philip V [1683-1746]; by inheritance to his son, Infante Luis de Borbon [1727-1785]; by inheritance to his daughter, Maria Teresa de Borbon [1779-1828]; by inheritance to her daughter, Carlota de Godoy, Second Duchess of Sueca [1800-1886]; by inheritance to her son, Adolfo Ruspoli, Second Duke of Alcudia [1822-1914]. Possibly Palacio de Boadilla del Monte, salon grande by 1899. Purchase April 2001 through (Derek Johns Ltd, London) by Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art.
Object number: 2001.6.1