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Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665)
Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665) - Sculpture Style Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665) -
Ref : 111844
26 000 €
Period :
17th century
Provenance :
Spain
Medium :
Bronze
Dimensions :
l. 4.92 inch X H. 9.65 inch X P. 4.13 inch
Sculpture  - Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665) 17th century - Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665)
Desmet Galerie

Classical Sculpture


+32 (0)486 02 16 09
Portrait Bust of Philip IV (1605-1665)

Bronze, Lost Wax
Madrid, first quarter of the 17th Century
Rutilio Gaci (c 1570 - 1634)
ALR reference: S00238673

H 24,5 x W 12,5 x D 10,5 cm
H 9 2/3 x W 5 x D 4 1/8 inch




Rutilio Gaci, an Italian sculptor born in 1570, was a figure whose work straddled the late Renaissance and early Baroque periods. Though less renowned than his contemporaries like Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Gaci's work was notable for its intricate detailing and the emotional depth he imbued in his bronze sculptures. Hailing from Castiglione Fiorentino (Arezzo) in Italy, Gaci's journey into art was marked by his entry in the Accademia Fiorentina del Disegno at the age of 13.

Gaci earned a reputation in Spain as a skilful coloured wax portrait artist, as is borne out by literary sources of the time, whose successful and highly-admired small equestrian figure led to his being commissioned to design the models for the monumental statue of Philip III that was going to be executed in Florence by Pietro Tacca. He also showed his abilities producing a series of medals using a technique that demonstrated his knowledge of one of the most highly-prized skills of his day, lost-wax casting. Years later he would amaze the public with his designs for the City of Madrid’s public fountains, standing in for the architect Juan Gómez de Mora, executing creations inspired by Florentine works that were new to the city, incorporating mythological statues imported from Italy by his compatriot, the merchant Ludovico Turchi.


Philip IV of Spain, born in 1605, was a significant figure in 17th-century Europe. As the King of Spain, he presided over one of the world's most powerful empires. However, this sculpture captures him in his youth, as a prince. This period of his life was marked by an air of optimism and potential before the burdens of kingship and the challenges of the Thirty Years' War.

The bust of Prince Philip IV, as envisioned by Rutilio Gaci, is not just a representation of a royal figure but an artistic convergence of two distinct cultural periods. Gaci, with his roots in the Renaissance, embraced the humanist focus on realism and individualism. This is evident in the lifelike portrayal of the prince. The sculpture likely stands no more than a foot in height, a scale that requires meticulous attention to detail.

Gaci's work is characterized by its textured surfaces, and this bust is no exception. The bronze medium is leveraged to give depth and a sense of vitality to the prince's visage. A notable feature of the bust is the portrayal of the prince's gaze – reflective and introspective, hinting at the thoughtful and complex ruler he was to become. In creating this bust, Gaci infused symbolic elements that reflected the prince's future and the expectations of his rule. The choice of bronze as a medium is significant – it is a material associated with strength and endurance, perhaps alluding to the enduring legacy that Philip IV was expected to secure for Spain.

The prince's attire in the bust is another point of interest. Gaci, true to his era's styles, has adorned the prince in a ruff, detailed with the fine etching characteristic of his technique. These elements would not only reflect the fashion of the time but also signify the prince's noble status.

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CATALOGUE

Bronze Sculpture