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About This Artwork
Portrait of General José Manuel Romero, c. 1810
Oil on canvas
41 1/2 x 34 1/2 in.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Deering McCormick, 1970.1036
The early 19th century was a troubled time in Spain. After Napoleon placed his brother, Joseph Bonaparte, on the Spanish throne in 1808, the people rose up in rebellion, eventually driving the French out with the help of the British army. Although his own sentiments were patriotic and liberal, Francisco de Goya dutifully fulfilled his obligations as first painter to the king. This is a portrait of José Manuel Romero, a minister under Joseph Bonaparte, although the degree to which the man is overwhelmed by his splendid court uniform and decorations may suggest a certain lack of sympathy on the part of the artist.