Pope Innocent X

Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)

As court painter to Philip IV Velázquez travelled to Italy in 1649 to buy pictures for the Spanish Royal Collection.

While in Rome he painted the portrait of Pope Innocent X. The full-length painting hangs in the Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. The Wellington Collection portrait is said to be a copy the artist made to bring back to Madrid.

A letter dated 8th July 1651 from the Papal Nuncio in Madrid states that Velázquez returned from Italy bringing with him “a good many original by the best painters as well as a very like portrait of our Lord (Innocent X) which his majesty (the King of Spain) has shown to enjoy very much”.