The present design was adopted by the King as his official court portrait, thereby accounting for the large number of versions in existence. In addition to these portraits Carreño also painted numerous official portraits of the court dwarfs, clowns and official visitors, much as Velázquez had done earlier in the century. Carreño's influence reached further than merely court portraiture: he oversaw, for example, the restoration of the Monastery of the Escorial after a fire there in 1671. His later œuvre is dominated by religious pictures but none of these compare to the portraiture of the 1670s which cemented Carreño's reputation as a worthy heir to Velázquez.
This portrait is said to have remained in the same family collection for over two hundred years and was passed by descent within the family until sold in 2009, ultimately from Don Gonzalo de Ulloa y Ortega Montañés, Conde de Adanero, who built one of the most important art collections in Spain during the nineteenth century. The collection, based in Cordoba, incorporated a large collection of miniatures, Sèvres porcelain and important Old Masters by Velázquez, Goya, El Greco and Zurbarán amongst many others. The collection is today largely dispersed amongst the various houses of the Adanero descendants.
1. See, for example, A. E. Pérez Sánchez, Juan Carreño de Miranda, Avila 1985, reproduced pp. 176 and 180.
2. Pérez Sánchez 1985, reproduced pp. 159,160 and 163 respectively.
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