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Mrs Delicado de Imaz
López Portaña, Vicente
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López Portaña, Vicente

Valencia, 1772 - Madrid, 1850

López Portaña, Vicente See author's file

Mrs Delicado de Imaz

Ca. 1836. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

The lady depicted here, around 50 years of age, is represented slightly greater than half-length, seated on a chair upholstered in green cloth, with a striking cashmere shawl of vivid colours lying on one of its arms. She is wearing a dark blue velvet dress with a lace mantilla covering her shoulders. Richly bejewelled, she wears a magnificent bracelet and a ring on her right hand, in which she is also holding a fan, while her gloved left hand rests on her lap. She wears her hair done up in the fashionable style called tres potencias (literally, three powers), with tight curls on the sides and a large topknot held in place with a magnificent pin shaped like a crescent moon and star, studded with diamonds, matching the chain on her forehead, her earrings and brooch. From the belt of her dress hangs the chain of a gold watch. Serving as a background are a window and a red velvet curtain.After his appointment in 1815 as Ferdinand VII´s First Painter of the King´s Chamber, Vicente López became the preferred portrait artist for members of high society in the king´s court. Eager for recognition and to display their status, these aristocrats found the exceptional technical skills of this artist -abilities that remained constant until his death- ideally suited to their desires for representation. His astonishingly precise depictions were executed in brilliant, rich colours, deployed with a particularly keen decorative instinct and in the best tradition of Valencian painting. Lopez´s highly accurate and absolutely honest brushwork was capable of reproducing with exactitude the smallest imperfections on his sitters´ skin or the precise features of the settings of their jewels or the embroidery on their clothing. Together, these resulted in a uniquely personal symbiosis of the realist tradition of the school of Valencia and the artist´s rigorous academic training.This splendid portrait is an eloquent example and undeniably also one of the most impertinent portraits the artist from Valencia ever produced. In an effort to compensate for her lack of beauty, the sitter wished to immortalise herself -with poorly disguised ostentation- by showing off her best finery; indeed, the style of her dress and coiffure allows us to date the work with precision to the last years of Ferdinand VII´s reign. The confident brushwork of Vicente López (who, at the time, was at the height of his prestige among the artistic circles of the court), his intelligent and subtle representation of the different properties of cloth and jewels, and his particular talent for reproducing the tactile qualities of textiles and other objects, make this image one of the most refined portraits from the artist´s mature period. On the other hand, his highly attuned skills of observation and his amazingly veracious description of the facial features of this rather graceless woman, with her thick eyebrows that nearly join in the middle and a revealing shadow of hair on her upper lip, dispel any accusation that this master portraitist might have engaged in servile adulation. On the contrary, it is evident that he was an implacable judge with his less handsome models, extremely objective in his observations and even, on occasions such as this, unintentionally cruel (Díez, J. L.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 202).


Technical data

Inventory number
López Portaña, Vicente
Mrs Delicado de Imaz
Ca. 1836
Height: 109 cm; Width: 86 cm
Legacy of Enrique Puncel y Bouet, 1953.

Bibliography +

Catálogo de la exposición de pinturas españolas de la primera mitad del siglo XIX, Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte, Madrid:, 1913, pp. 27.

Sánchez Cantón, F. J., Las adquisiciones del Museo del Prado en los años 1952-1953, Archivo español de arte, 27, 1954, pp. 10, il. X.

Lozoya, Marqués de, Vicente López, pintor de retratos, Goya, 104, 1971, pp. 71.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Camón Aznar, José, Pintura Española de los Siglos XVI al XIX, Direccion General de Bellas Artes, Las Palmas, 1973.

De la Puente, Joaquín, Casón del Buen Retiro. Catálogo de las pinturas del siglo XIX, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1985, pp. 133.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (III). Nuevas Adquisiciones. Museo Iconográfico. Tapices., Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. 464, n. 1797.

Díez García, José Luis, Vicente López (1772-1850). Catálogo razonado, Fundación de Apoyo a la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 1999, pp. 135, n. P-551.

Díez, J. L., La señora de Delicado de Imaz (h. 1832-1833). En: Barón, J.: El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 82, n. 13.

Barón, J, El auge del retrato en el siglo XIX. En: Ruíz Gómez, L.; Barón, J. El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla, En: Ruíz Gómez, L.; Barón, J. El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2010, pp. 34.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 202-203, n. 61.

Díez, José Luis (dir.), Pintura del Siglo XIX en el Museo del Prado: catálogo general, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2015, pp. 337.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1985. Núm. 2981.

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1797.
Autor, Vicente López / 1797. Asunto, retrato de la sra. Delicado de Imaz / Lienzo 109 x 86 cms. / Nº del catálogo 2981 / del mismo legado que el anterior

Inscriptions +

Frame, front, lower bar

Exhibitions +

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

El retrato español en el Prado. Del Greco a Sorolla
01.10.2010 - 08.01.2011

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
La Coruña
11.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
12.03.2008 - 25.05.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
18.12.2007 - 24.02.2008

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
03.10.2007 - 02.12.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
12.06.2007 - 02.09.2007

El retrato español en el Prado. De Goya a Sorolla
05.03.2007 - 20.05.2007

Displayed objects +

Object for personal use: Toquilla blanca, de tul, ricamente bordada.




Update date: 28-01-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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