Velázquez became the leading Spanish artist of the seventeenth century. His outstanding skills were evident in his early works in Seville, and his talent for portraiture soon brought him to the attention of the court in Madrid. He moved there on his appointment as painter to King Philip IV in 1623. He was inspired by Titian's paintings in the Spanish royal collection and visited Italy twice. His innovative designs, and bold dazzling brushwork brought universal admiration. Velázquez was honoured as a knight for his artistic and diplomatic services in 1658.