Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (Spanish, 1599–1660)
Oil on canvas; 50 1/4 x 41 in. (127.6 x 104.1 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1952 (52.125)
Don Gaspar de Guzmán, count of Olivares and duke of Sanlúcar la Mayor, was from 1621 until his exile in 1643 the chief military strategist of Philip IV and the most powerful figure at the Spanish court. He is the subject of a celebrated lifesize equestrian portrait by Velázquez in the Prado, Madrid. The attribution of the present painting to Velázquez has been questioned, and it has been wrongly ascribed to Juan Bautista Martínez del Mazo (ca. 16141667), the son-in-law and close associate of the artist. The area around the horse's head has changed in color and tone. The irregular line running across the picture at the top is a seam in the canvas.