Francisco de Goya

José Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba (José Álvarez de Toledo, duque de Alba)

José Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba (José Álvarez de Toledo, duque de Alba)
Datos Generales
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
195 x 126 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
01 Feb 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

This painting belonged to the collections of the Countess of Niebla, the widowed Marchioness of Los Vélez, the Marquis of Villafranca and the Duke of Medina Sidonia. It was accepted by the board of the Prado Museum on 6 March 1926, entering the museum's collection on 25 May 1926.

Análisis artístico

José Alvarez de Toledo y Gonzaga (Madrid, 1756-Seville, 1796) became the 13th Duke of Alba upon his marriage to María Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva, Duchess of Alba. He received the Golden Fleece and the Grand Cross of the Order of Charles III and was named, in 1791, Inquisitor General of Seville. To carry out his duties he moved to his palace in Seville. He was a great lover of chamber music and a keen admirer of Joseph Haydn, the composer of the very musical score, entitled Four Songs with Pianoforte Accompaniment, that the sitter is shown holding in this portrait.

Goya represents the duke full length, wearing an orange-hued dress coat and leaning on a table, on top of which are a violin and a hat. His somewhat melancholy face reveals a sensitive lover of the arts. On this occasion Goya did not use the dark background so common in his portraits, instead placing the subject in the interior of a palace and in front of a wall which reflects back a light which brightens the room and gives the whole a heightened sense of depth, an unusual detail in Goya's work.

The previously widely accepted belief that this painting formed a pair with the portrait of the sitter's wife, the Duchess of Alba, is today disputed.

  • Les chefs-d’œuvre du Musée du Prado
    Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
    consultant editors Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor y Pedro Muguruza Otaño. From June to September 1939
  • Goya
    Palacio de Pedralbes
    from April 12th to June 30th 1977
  • El arte europeo en la corte de España durante el siglo XVIII
    Galerie des Beaux-Arts
    Exhibitied also at Grand Palais, París y Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  • Goya. La década de Los Caprichos
    organized by Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando sponsored by Fundación Central Hispano, Madrid, consultant editor Nigel Glendinnig. From October 26th 1992 to January 10th 1993
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Realidad e imagen. Goya 1746 – 1828
    Museo de Zaragoza
    consultant editor Federico Torralba Soriano. From October 3th to December 1st 1996
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
  • Goya: Order and disorder
    Museum of Fine Arts
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    p. 65, cat. 346
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 170, cat. 350
  • vol. I, p. 289, cat. 333
  • Nigel (comisario) Glendinning
    La década de los Caprichos. Retratos 1792-1804
    MadridReal Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando
    cat. 17
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 173 (il.) y 361, cat. 81
  • Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Gudrun Mühle-Maurer
    La duquesa de Alba, «musa» de Goya. El mito y la historia
    MadridEdiciones el Viso, Museo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 75 a 107
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 140 y 141 (il.), cat. 6
Enlaces externos
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