Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos (c.1798) by Francisco Goya

Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos - Francisco Goya - c.1798

Artwork Information

TitleGaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Dimensions205 x 133 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

About Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos

The artwork entitled “Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos” is an oil on canvas portrait by the distinguished artist Francisco Goya, dating to approximately 1798. It is a notable work from the Romanticism movement, measuring 205 x 133 cm. Currently, this impressive genre of portrait is housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain, where it stands as a testament to Goya’s formidable talents and the cultural richness of that period.

The artwork presents an elegant and thoughtful depiction of Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, a prominent Spanish figure known for his work as a statesman, writer, and philosopher during the Enlightenment in Spain. The subject is seated, with his body slightly turned to the right while he gazes directly out at the viewer, conveying a sense of intellect and repose. He rests his head upon his hand in a classical pose that suggests contemplation or perhaps momentary fatigue.

His attire is formal, typical of the 18th-century Spanish aristocracy, including a long-tailed coat, knee breeches, and stockings, paired with shoes adorned with buckles. He holds a small piece of paper or letter in his other hand, subtly indicating his connection to literature and governance.

The craftsmanship of Francisco Goya is evident in the intricate rendering of textures—from the velvety quality of the chair to the softness of Jovellanos’s powdered hair, and the gleam of the ornamented table beside him. The restrained use of color displays Goya’s adeptness at capturing the dignified ambiance surrounding his subject, with the darker background accentuating the luminosity of Jovellanos’s face and clothing. Overall, the artwork is a masterful combination of psychological depth and aesthetic finesse, offering a window into the soul of Jovellanos and the vision of Goya.

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