Philip II, King of Spain (1527-1598)
King Philip II of Spain, after Titian
In 1550-51, Titian seemingly made an agreement with the young crown prince Philip of Spain to create a series of large mythological paintings, that were loosely based on the loves of the Olympian gods and the consequences for any mortals who encountered them. Over the next decade Titian sent six paintings to Philip, of which Diana and Actaeon and Diana and Callisto were the last to be delivered. Both paintings were completed by 1559, but in the years since he had struck his deal with Titian, Philip’s life had changed dramatically. He had married Queen Mary I of England in 1554, thus becoming King Consort of England. The marriage was short lived as Mary died in 1558 and Mary’s throne then passed to Elizabeth I. Meanwhile, Philip had come to the throne of Spain in 1556. Despite the changes in his life, Philip had lost none of his youthful eagerness to own examples of Titian’s beautiful nudes.
- Location National Portrait Gallery, London
- Image courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery