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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Isabella of Portugal was a daughter of a King Manuel of Portugal. She was married to Charles V in 1526. After some years the princess died her husband Charles found out that he had none of Isabella portraits, this was the most emotional thing in the all art.

Charles V had to find another portrait, from Austria the one Isabella of Portugal sent to Margret before she died. His sister sent the portrait in November Charles was very disappointed it did not look like one for his wife. Being unhappy with the portrait he had to request Titian to find an art that resemble his wife.

Titian painted Isabella portraits in 1545, Titian furnished it and Charles wife had black dress and in her lap she had flowers behind her she had magnificent crown. In EI Pardo palace this art was destroyed using a fire this story is in prints and several copies. The portrait had lost the nose so Charles took it to Augsburg so that the artist could work on it to repaint the nose. In September the year 1548 the artist used the old model to make the current one and it was also painted in Augsburg. Charles and Isabella had a portrait together and a duplicate in Fundacion Casa de Alba Collection in Madrid this was the best and the first combination of Isabella of Portugal and Charles V.

The art of Titian brought memories of Isabella of Portugal and the one which had both of them reminded Charles his wife. Charles was requesting the arts and he did not want exact paintings but wanted to visualise the ones he had in his mind. Charles wanted Titian to paint the lost nose portrait because he could paint it the way the nose appeared. The portraits made during her life time looked real they showed how Isabella of Portugal had an aquiline nose this, was a unique feature that was noticed by many. Titian had to make same correction from a classic straight nose to a curved one that Isabella of Portugal had. The small things in the portraits that brought memories of Isabella made Charles to keep the arts close and all this is keep in documents like Yuste and Brussels where the latter was documented in 1556 and the former in 1558.

The portraits that Titian made were close to those of Giulio Romano. The one of Eleonora Gonzaga an Urbino duchess is what Titian looked and used the skills in the paintings to make Isabella portraits. Isabella of Portugal images were somehow challenging, since it was not a reality but just one to bring back memories. Isabella of Portugal portraits were great job done by Titian however, if looked closely it showed that the canvas used was previously an art of a female. The canvas painted Isabella of Portugal was given to Mary, sister to Philip the second. It was for a convent called Descalzas Reales. In 1636 it was taken in Madrid at Alcazar it remained there for same years until when there was a fire in 1734.