Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (Spanish, 17461828)
Oil on canvas; 76 7/8 x 45 1/4 in. (195 x 115 cm)
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.148)
This imposing portrait is one of four that Goya painted of members of Count Altamira's family. (Another is the Museum's portrait of Don Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga [49.7.41].) The patronage of this powerful family greatly advanced the artist's career; shortly after this work was completed, he was appointed court painter to Charles IV, king of Spain. Goya's brilliant treatment of the countess' gown, with its shimmering embroidered silk, attests to his mastery of technique, while the distant, introspective expressions of the sitters reveal his ability to endow even the most formal of portraits with a penetrating psychological immediacy.