Inventory number
Goya y Lucientes, Francisco de
The Countess of Chinchón
216 cm x 144 cm
On display
Palace of Godoy, Madrid, 1800; Depósito General de Secuestros ("almacén de cristales"), December 1813. Countess of Chinchón Palace of Boadilla del Monte (Madrid), 1814. Acquisition for the Prado Museum, 2000

María Teresa de Bourbon y Vallabriga, Marchioness of Boadilla del Monte and Countess of Chichón, was the daughter of infante Luis Antonio de Bourbon by María Teresa Vallabriga y Rozas. She was born inn the family palace of Velada (Toledo) on 26 November 1780, during the distancing from the court to which she was subject, along with her mother and brothers.

On the death of Luis in 1785, she was separated form her mother and entered the Convent of San Clemente in Toledo, which she left in 1797 to marry Manuel Godoy at the behest of the Monarchs. This marriage led to the recognition of her and her brothers' lineage, allowing them to again use the Bourbon family name.

The portrait was made in her third year of marriage, in April 1800. Then, at the age of nineteen, she was pregnant with her first child, little Carlota. The Countess is dressed in the style of the day, with a white crêpe dress decorated with small flower. Her abundant curls are drawn back in a hairdo adorned with wheatears symbolizing fecundity in the form of her future daughter. She sits in an elegant armchair with a fleeting smile. Her soft, light-colored eyes are turned to the right, avoiding the viewer's gaze. The artist brings out her helpless nature in her hands, which are timidly crossed on her lap. Her right hand bears a large ring with a portrait of a gentleman —undoubtedly Godoy— wearing the sash of the Order of Carlos III on his chest.

This exceptional artwork is the quintessential court portrait and is interpreted by Goya with the natural psychological acuity and closeness to the model that characterizes his works.

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