He was, however, highly knowledgeable around the arts and collected passionately for his own pleasure. Additionally, he commissioned artists to create paintings for him, often as portraits which could be hung within his large properties. Velazquez would become his favourite, and would select him for around a dozen portraits as well as then employing him to capture other members of his family. Their relationship was strong after a good few years working together and although any artist is restricted whilst being part of a royal court, the Spaniard was appreciative of being able to leave behind any concerns of financial backing. His reputation also spread across Europe because of his connection to the King, with many welcomed visitors being admirers of his skills in portraiture. Few since have achieved such a level of mastery and his portraits of this royal are amongst the highlights of his entire career.
Velazquez chooses a brighter outfit in this portrait as compared to some of the other versions, with a delightful red coat, with grey undergarment that shows through on his sleeves. There is then a creme waistcoat that just shows through around his stomach area. The final top layer is some lace work that covers his shoulders and around his neck. In his left hand he holds a black hat with pointed front, and in his right he holds a scroll. The King's hair is smart, and is moustache is typically well groomed, pointing up at each end. He looks at us directly, with a serious expression. By this stage, he would have sat for Velazquez many times already and so would have felt entirely comfortable within his company. The background is typically neutral, so as to avoid any distraction, with predominantly dark tones chosen in order to better show off the brighter clothing worn by King Philip IV.
The Frick Collection in New York own this beautiful portrait, but it is believed to be their own Diego Velazquez painting on show. Those looking to see more of his work can find around nine in the National Gallery in London and a further sixty at the Prado Museum in Madrid, the latter of which also owns his masterpiece, Las Meninas. Some of the other big names who are better represented in the Frick Collection include Rembrandt, Vermeer and Turner. They also are particularly prominent with the collections of drawings and etchings which will interest those more technically minded who perhaps are looking to study some of these slightly less famous art forms that were particularly popular in previous centuries.