Francisco de Goya

Don Balthasar Charles, prince of Spain, son of king Philip IV (Don Baltasar Carlos Principe de España. Hijo del Rey D. Felipe IV

Don Balthasar Charles, prince of Spain, son of king Philip IV (Don Baltasar Carlos Principe de España. Hijo del Rey D. Felipe IV
Datos Generales
350 x 220 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching and drypoint
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
11 Nov 2010 / 27 Oct 2022

Pintura de D. Diego de Velazquez del tamaño natural; dibujada y grabada por D. Francisco de Goya, Pintor. 1778 ("Painting by Don Diego Velázquez, life size; drawn and etched by Don Francisco de Goya, Painter. 1778" at the bottom of the etching).


See Philip III.

There exist several different editions of this etching. The first was printed in black ink, the second in greyish-sepia ink, and the third in dark greyish-brown ink. Handwritten on this third-edition print, in the lower right-hand corner, we see the word Merelo.

The publication of this etching was announced in the Gazeta de Madrid of the 22nd December 1778.

Análisis artístico

Prince Balthasar Charles on Horseback, an equestrian portrait of Philip IV's son, was painted by Velázquez for the Hall of Kingdoms at Buen Retiro Palace (1735-1736, Prado Museum, Madrid). The prince, still a child of approximately six years of age when painted, is shown riding his pony, which is rearing up on its hind legs. He is dressed as a general, with a baton in his right hand and the horse's reins in his left. A crimson sash runs across his chest and his hands are clad in suede gloves. On his head he wears a black felt hat.

Goya has copied Velázquez's painting very faithfully, using short, lively lines, and he has even managed to improve upon the horse as depicted in the original. Just like in the other etchings made from Velázquez's paintings, he has noticeably lightened the landscape in the background, and has even made a change to it, showing in the centre a large white cloud that does not exist in the painting. Goya shows his skill in his depiction of the prince's face, from which he has picked out the child's alert, attentive gaze.

The etching was made in two stages. First, the drawing and a light initial bite were made. Later on the plate was coated once more and re-etched in many places, such as on the horse, for example. Some drypoint was added in a semi-circular area at the bottom of the border in an attempt to hide a patch of foul bite.


The etching plate is conserved in the National Chalcography Museum (cat. 161). It came from the Fondo de Recuperación of 1948 (body created to recover works of art taken out of Spain during the Civil War).

  • Goya und Velazquez: das königliche Portrait,
    Städtische Galerie im Städelschen Kunstinstitut
  • BERUETE Y MONET, Aureliano de
    Goya, grabador
    MadridBlass S.A.
    cat. 11
  • HARRIS, Tomás
    Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Oxford, Bruno Cassirer
    cat. 9
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    cat. 95
    Dibujos y grabados de Goya sobre obras de Velázquez Goya
    p. 269
  • SANTIAGO, Elena M. (coordinadora)
    Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    MadridMinisterio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
    cat. 38
    Goya. In the Norton Simon Museum
    PasadenaNorton Simon Museum
    p. 33
Enlaces externos
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