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This warm and intimate portrait suggests the friendship that existed between Goya and his sitter who moved in the same liberal, intellectual circles of enlightened men known as ‘ilustrados’. Melendez Valdes was eight years Goya’s junior. He may well have met the artist at Saragossa in 1790 when he was a judge there. The portrait was possibly painted in the late spring or summer of 1797, when Valdes was disappointed to not secure the post of Public Prosecutor in April that year.
oil on canvas
73.3 x 57.1 cm
bequeathed by the Founders, 1885
The Bowes Museum
Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP EnglandView venue
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