Artist: Gilbert Stuart (American, North Kingston, Rhode Island 1755–1828 Boston, Massachusetts)
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 50 3/4 x 39 3/4 in. (128.9 x 101 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907
Accession Number: 07.75
A minor Spanish official who had set his sights on becoming a permanent envoy to the United States, Josef de Jáudenes y Nebot (1764–before 1819) wooed and married the daughter of a commanding figure in Spanish-American trade relations, the Boston merchant John “Don Juan” Stoughton. Jáudenes commissioned a pair of portraits to proclaim the union, and Stuart seized the opportunity to demonstrate his talents for a patron who required that the trappings of ceremony and wealth be on full display. With a degree of technical skill still unknown among the artists trained in America, he painted elaborate portraits, privileging iconography over revelation of character.