Justus Tiel, Flemish, active last third of the 16th century
Allegory of the Education of Philip III, 1590
oil on canvas
Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

By the time of Justus Tiel's portrait, Philip was twelve years old and could not have posed wearing the armor. Its imagery probably inspired this painting, which also alludes to the virtues expected of a future king. Tiel portrayed the prince attended by a female figure of Justice who hands him scales and a sword, symbolizing prudence and power; the staff, known as a caduceus, representing peace; and a bridle and reins, suggesting moderation and restraint. Behind them, Chronos (Time) pushes blind Cupid aside and Justice forward. The hourglass with a still-empty lower chamber balanced on Chronos' head signifies the prince's youth.