The Equestrian Statue of Philip IV was made up by the Italian sculptor Pietro Tacca. The king sent to Tacca two sketches to and Italy, he worked in this sculpture for 6 years . Two years later the sculpture was sent to Madrid from the workshop that had Tacca in Florence. In Spain first of all it was situated in gardens of the queen but later it was moved to many places. The statue was commission by Philip IV. It was made in the first part of the 17th century, more or less between 1634 and 1640.
This is a very interesting post of the equestrian sculpture of Philip IV , but it explain every thing in Spanish:
Nowadays it is in the center of Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, Spain.
First of all with this sculpture we can see features of Baroque sculpture. It was very difficult to represent it, because it was based on a painting made by Velázquez:
This sculpture is very realistic: It represents movement thanks to the cloth fold thanks to the horse’s legs.
When Tucca sent to the king a sketch of the sculpture to the king didn’t like the expression of his face, so Velázquez was worried about this. He thought about what was the best thing that he could do. So he asked Juan Martínez Montañes to do a modelling head of the king. He sent the modeling head to Italy. The equestrian statue was finished the same year in which Pietro Tucca died.
The king is wearing a half framework and in his hand he has a cane.
This was the first equestrian statue of history in which the horse is supported only in its his back legs. Finally he obtained the balance of the figure using the tail of the horse as a support for the figure, it was possible because the distance between the legs and the tail makes a perfect triangle.
The symbols that have this equestrian sculpture has are two marble plaques on the pedestal. It was then that the two bas-relief panels were added at the base of the statue. One shows Philip IV presenting the Cross of Santiago to Velázquez and the other one is an allegorical reference to the monarch's role as a patron of the arts. The ensemble also includes two large shell-shaped fountains, a figure that represents a river and four bronze lions.
Finally here we have a self portrait of Diego de Velázquez.