Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares (São Paulo)

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Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares
Velazquez - condedqolivares03.jpg
Artist Diego Velázquez
Year 1624
Medium oil on canvas
Dimensions 206 cm × 106 cm (81 in × 42 in)
Location Museu de Arte de São Paulo, São Paulo

The Portrait of the Count-Duke of Olivares is a 1624 portrait by Diego Velázquez (Seville, June 6, 1599 – Madrid, August 6 1660), the most celebrated painter of the Spanish Golden Age. It is housed in the São Paulo Museum of Art in São Paulo, Brazil.

History and characteristics of the painting[edit]

The man in the portrait is Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel, Count-Duke of Olivares, (Rome, January 6, 1587 – Toro, July 22, 1645), a Spanish politician and nobleman, Count of Olivares and Duke of Sanlucar la Mayor, a favorite of King Philip IV.

The precise date the painting was finished is not know, however the painter took fees for his work on December 4, 1624.

The painting shows the Count-Duke standing with his left hand on the hilt of his sword, resting his right hand on a table from where a hat emerges, which in turn rests on a velvet carpet. The sitter wears a sober black coat, with the symbols of his power, a gold chain with large links, gold spurs, and the Red Cross of the Order of Calatrava, noting the importance, power and seriousness of character.

Also noteworthy is the huge neck bust with flat plate in comparison with the smaller size of the head, which creates an interesting visual impact.