Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz


Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz

Doña Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz (es: "Doña Joaquina Téllez-Girón, marquesa de Santa Cruz") was a daughter of Pedro de Álcantara Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna and María Josefa de la Soledad, 9th Duchess of Osuna.

The painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, a friend of the family of Osuna, most probably portrayed her in a famous painting; she was probably around 21 years young when she was portrayed. She was married around that time to José Silva-Bazán, Marquis of Santa Cruz, who was the first director of the Museo del Prado.

The marchioness is shown clad in a very light white dress, lying sideways on a red divan. Her head is decorated with yellow flowers; her left hand is balancing a lyre. Her gaze does not directly fix on the viewer but seems to look distant. Her body does not seem to sit in a natural position, but seemingly floats on the red divan and the pillows.

The theme seems almost allegorical, a reference to the ancient Greek theatre. The composition of the work is similar to Antonio Canova's sculpture of "Paolina Borghese as Venus Victrix". The portrait is also similar to Diego Velázquez and to an extend Titian's depictions of Venus. The flowers on her head a reference to Bacchus, while the lyre is a homage to art and Apollo.

The Museum of the Prado exhibits this painting since 1986, after having paid over US$6 million to the previous owners.


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