The Three Lives of Margherita of Savoy-Gonzaga, Duchess of Mantua and Vicereine of Portugal
Mariana of Austria played an important role in the history of the Spanish monarchy in the seventeenth century. Mariana played different and important roles never before seen in the life of a Spanish Habsburg queen. There were also conflicts between Mariana and Don Juan Jos of Austria, Carlos IIs ambitious half-brother. The most representative portrait of Mariana executed by Carreo is the one where she is seated and placed in the Alczars Saln de los Espejos. Both Carreo and Claudio Coello portray the queen performing her duties as ruler-governor. Queen Mariana suggests that her role was that of curadora and advisor to her son and that she deliberately chose to be portrayed as such. The presence of the table, chair and petitions typifies the portraits of Mazo, Herrera Barnuevo, and Carreo during her regency, stressing the political role that the queen continued to play as advisor to her son.