Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venetian, 16961770)
Oil on canvas; Oval painted surface, 32 1/8 x 26 1/8 in. (81.6 x 66.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1937 (37.165.3)
From 1762 until his death, Tiepolo worked in Spain for Charles III and decorated several rooms in the Palacio Real, Madrid. This is one of two oil sketches for the saleta adjacent to the throne room. Each shows a female figure of Spain with lions for the province of León, an old woman beside a castle for Castile, and Hercules, the traditional protector of Spain, with a column representing Gibraltar. The compositions of the two sketches and the prominence of the figures are quite varied.