National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Don Antonio Noriega Francisco de Goya (artist)
Spanish, 1746 - 1828
Don Antonio Noriega, 1801
oil on canvas
overall: 102.6 x 80.9 cm (40 3/8 x 31 7/8 in.) framed: 128.3 x 105.4 x 12.7 cm (50 1/2 x 41 1/2 x 5 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1961.9.74
On View
From the Tour: Francisco de Goya
Object 4 of 9

The blue and white ribbon of the Order of Carlos III appears prominently on the jacket of Antonio Noriega Bermúdez. His knighthood, a list of other offices, and the date 1801 are inscribed in Spanish on both the tablecloth and the paper in the sitter’s hand. Don Antonio was knighted on 23 July 1801, and Goya’s portrait may commemorate that event.

As is customary in portrayals of government officials, Goya depicted Spain’s high treasurer at work. In a gesture of nonchalance, Don Antonio rests his hand inside his unbuttoned vest, implying his authority and control over the country’s finances. In truth, his administration was disastrously inefficient, nearly doubling the national debt. While fleeing from the Napoleonic invaders in 1808, Don Antonio was assassinated by Spaniards who, mistakenly, thought he had collaborated with the French army.

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