Description of the picture:
Portrait of the Count – Duke of Olivares – Diego Velazquez. 1638. Oil on canvas. 67×54.5
Working at the court of Philip IV, Velazquez repeatedly painted portraits of the king and members of his family. More than once the chief minister of the court posed for him, in whose hands twenty-three years there was almost unlimited power over Spain.
Don Gasparo de Guzmán, Count Olivares, the Duke of San Lucar de Barracudo is represented by Velazquez against a grayish-olive background, his costume is emphasized modestly – black clothes with a white collar. Olivares’ meaty face emerges from this dark frame, his mustache and beard only partially cover his swollen cheeks and chin. A heavy, massive nose hangs over tight lips, and black hair accentuates a large, bulging forehead. Clever and penetrating eyes make a completely different impression. They give out in an outwardly calm person a nature with a steel character.
The work was created in the 1630s, when Velazquez painted modest pectoral images, paying special attention to revealing the inner world of the portrayed."