Olga's Gallery

Charles IV, King of Spain


Charles IV (1748-1819) king of Spain 1788-1808, son and successor of Charles III. He was a weak monarch dominated by his wife Maria Luisa of Parma and her lover, Manuel de Godoy, whom he appointed Prime Minister in 1792. Under Charles’ rule during the Napoleonic wars Spain was in constant trouble; her fleet was destroyed by Nelson in the Trafalgar battle in 1805, and in 1807 France invaded. A riot on March 17, 1808 forced Charles to abdicate in favor of his son Ferdinand, the future Ferdinand VII. Napoleon I then lured Charles, Ferdinand, and Maria Luisa to Bayonne, where he forced Ferdinand to abdicate in favor of his father, and then made Charles turn over the crown to his brother, Joseph Buonaparte. Charles, Maria Luisa, and Godoy were exiled to Rome, they were given a pension by Napoleon. Charles died on Jan. 20, 1819 in Rome.
See: Anton Raphael Mengs. Charles IV as Prince. Maria Luisa of Parma. Maria Luisa of Parma.
Francisco de Goya. Queen Maria Luisa. Charles IV and His Family.
This is one of the first official portraits, if not the first, that Goya executed on the occasion of the crowning of the new Spanish reigning couple.

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