Portrait of Isabella of Portugal

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Portrait of Isabella of Portugal
Isabella of Portugal by Titian.jpg
Artist Titian
Year 1548
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 117 cm × 98 cm (46 in × 39 in)
Location Museo del Prado, Madrid

The Portrait of Isabella of Portugal is an oil-on-canvas portrait of Isabella of Portugal by Titian dating to 1548. It was part of the Spanish royal collection and is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.


The subject is Isabella of Portugal (1503–1539), wife of Charles I of Spain and daughter of King Manuel I of Portugal. Titian painted her after her death, using a mediocre painting for reference.[1] The portrait follows a classic scheme already used by Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, in which the model sits next to a window opening on a landscape. The landscape gives depth to the composition, and its greenish and bluish tones provide a contrast to the interior scene dominated by warm colors. The figure shows some stiffness, possibly related to the concept of majesty as used in the iconography imperial.

The figure wears a rich red dress and gold brocade and trimmed with rhinestones. It is decorated also with flashy jewelry, like a necklace of pearls with a clasp at the chest with gems hanging from another teardrop pearl, a ring on her right hand, or a jewel topped headdress, a rigid hairstyle very fashionable at the time, made up with braids. The Empress holds an open book in her left hand, perhaps a missal or prayer book, and looks at a distant point with preoccupied expression.


  1. ^ Tiziano Vecellio, Charles Hope, Jennifer Fletcher, Jill Dunkerton, Miguel Falomir Faus, Nicholas Penny, Caroline Campbell, Amanda Bradley, and David Jaffe. 2003. Titian: [National Gallery, London 19 February - 18 May 2003]. London: National Gallery. p. 36. ISBN 1857099044.

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