7.19.2012

Royal Family Portrait

By Josh

Elizabeth wrote an article — on pp. 110–112 of UNBORED — about how to make a family portrait that isn’t embarrassing. (And her son Henrik added a sidebar about how to actually make family portraits fun.)

By way of illustrating how your family portrait reveals a lot about you, Elizabeth mentions Charles IV of Spain and His Family, an oil painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya completed in 1800. She notes that the fancy clothes, medals, and huge paintings in the background sent the message that this family was very wealthy and powerful; but she also notes that the faces and postures of the royal family are a bit dumpy… which suggests that Goya was criticizing them. We didn’t have room to show Charles IV of Spain and His Family in the book, but here it is!

Courtesy of Museo Nacional del Prado. Click on image for larger version.

The royal family is paying a visit to the artist’s studio; that’s Goya in the background on the left. Others, left to right, are Carlos Maria Isidro; the future Fernando VII; Maria Josefa, sister of Carlos IV; an unknown woman; María Isabel; Maria Luisa of Parma; Francisco de Paula; Charles IV; Don Antonio Pascual, brother of the King; Carlota Joaquina (part of head visible); Don Luis de Parma and his wife Maria Luisa, holding baby Carlos Luis.