You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Frame by Frame

Velazquez’s young prince and a dwarf

This double portrait by Diego Velazquez (1599-1660) at the Museum of Fine Arts shows two people of similar stature who are years apart in age. It’s a very cute combo. But the effect — whether inadvertently or deliberately — is to our eyes a little baffling. Are we allowed to laugh? If so, what, exactly, is the joke?

One of the little people is Baltasar Carlos, the 2-year-old son of King Philip IV of Spain and his wife, Isabella of Bourbon. The other is a dwarf.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week