- Inventory number
- Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
- Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
- 205 cm x 133 cm
- On display
- Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, 1798, Madrid. Juan José Arias de Saavedra, 1802. Collection of Antonio Botija. Mariano Santamaría, Madrid, 1887. Dukes of Las Torres, Madrid, 1916. Viscountess of Irueste, Madrid, 1921. Satrústegui Figueroa, Navarro Figueroa, Satrústegui y Sotomayor Basabe. Acquisition for the Prado Museum, 1974
An example of the perfect Enlightenment personage, Jovellanos was equally interested in the arts and sciences. In 1798 he became Minister of Grace and Justice as part of an ephemeral advanced and reforming cabinet. In this evocative and intimate portrait, he is depicted sitting, leaning on a table full of papers, with a serene, intelligent and somewhat melancholy gaze. He is soberly and elegantly dressed and, surprisingly, bears none of the decorations, medals or honorific sashes traditionally present in portraits of public figures.
In the background, Minerva, goddess of wisdom and the arts, extends her protective arm towards him. She rests on a shield with the coat of arms of the Royal Asturian Nautical and Mineralogical Institute, which was one of Jovellano's most beloved projects.
The folded paper bears the painter's signature and the name of the model.