Born and trained in Seville, Velázquez moved to Madrid, where he served King Philip IV from 1623. As court painter, his main responsibility was to produce portraits of the royal family and their circle. These remain unsurpassed in their depth of conception and extraordinary painterly technique.
The Sacrament of Ordination is from one of the most celebrated groups of paintings in the entire history of art. The set depicting each of the Seven Sacraments was commissioned from Poussin by the antiquarian Cassiano dal Pozzo, secretary to Cardinal Francesco Barberini.