King Louis I of Spain on Horseback
Artist/maker unknown, Peruvian
Portraits of the king and the royal family were produced in the New World to serve many functions; they hung in government buildings and in private homes of the nobility. King Luis I (1707–1724) of Spain ruled only seven months before dying of smallpox, but records state that an equestrian portrait of Luis was made in the city of Potosí in 1725 for the city’s jura del rey (oath to the king), a ceremony performed at the ascension of each new monarch. It is probable that when this work was painted, news of the king’s death was still making its way to the Spanish colonies.