The Huntington acquire a Goya

November 21 2023

Image of The Huntington acquire a Goya

Picture: The Huntington

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens has announced its acquisition of Goya's Portrait of José Antonio Caballero, Second Marqués de Caballero, Secretary of Grace and Justice. This is the first oil painting by the artist in the museum's collection and was made possible through a gift from The Ahmanson Foundation.

According to the press release:

“Portrait of José Antonio Caballero is historically fascinating and a prime example of Goya’s genius as a portraitist,” said Christina Nielsen, the Hannah and Russel Kully Director of the Art Museum at The Huntington. “Along with the exquisite French portrait by Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun acquired with The Ahmanson Foundation last year, it will add an important international perspective to our outstanding collection of 17th- and early 18th-century British portraits.”


The sitter in the Goya painting, José Antonio Caballero (1754–1821), was from the minor nobility in Spain. He studied law and went on to a successful career in the royal court, holding four secretary positions. His accomplishments included convincing King Charles IV of Spain to conduct a vaccination campaign against smallpox that extended to the Spanish territories in North and South America and Asia. Goya painted the portrait when Caballero was the secretary of state and had just inherited the title of Marquis de Caballero from his uncle.

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