Philip IV on Horseback, 1634 by Diego Velazquez
In line with these ideas, and in a picture now lost, Rubens had already shown Philip IV on horseback triumphing over his enemies. Velázquez does not call upon the emotionally highly charged background usual in Rubens, nor does he employ any grand allegorical accessories. He also does not exaggerate the king's size by placing him in front of a very low horizon with tiny soldiers in the middle ground, as the Flemish master did in his portrait of Philip II. While Velázquez uses a more restrained pictorial rhetoric than Rubens, his royal horseman is livelier and more elegant than the subject in another famous painting - Titian's Equestrian Portrait of Charles V The pure profile emphasizes the fine outline of man and beast, and contrasts the rising movement of the horse with the falling slope of an extensive and idealized landscape. Its pigmentation, shot with beautiful shades of green and blue, is reminiscent of sixteenth-century Flemish landscapes.