The Count of Floridablanca
Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes

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Many portraits of a person can tell the viewer not just how the person in the painting looked and dressed but also something about their life. This painting by Goya does just that, the viewer can see other items in the painting besides the count, for example, a book on the floor, this tells the viewer that the person is able to read as indeed the majority of the male aristocracy could. There is also a map leaning against the table, could the count be well travelled? He loves beautiful things and has had them included in the painting, for example the clock on the right hand side of the painting.
What I find interesting is that although the man next to him is showing the count something a painting or a mirror in a frame perhaps, we the viewers can only guess as the front is facing away from us, the count himself is paying the man and the item he is holding no attention. His eyes are focused on us, the person looking in at him. And the man behind the count, although he has a pen in his hand has forgotten his work and is looking at the item in the first mans hand. Perhaps indeed this is a mirror for the count to check how he looks in his full regalia, but, for now, the count is more interested in the viewer than his reflection.
The painting itself seems claustrophobic because of the closeness of the characters and the curtain obsuring everything in the background and the count in his bright costume shines out of this background catching your attention, which leaves the other men to be part of the background, unoticed as servants at that time should be.

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