Floridablanca, the King’s Shadow

Floridablanca, the King’s Shadow

The Count of Floridablanca was a man of his time – a troubled period of history in which the staunchest conservatives of the old institutions were pitted against impetuous revolutionaries. There was also a moderate, no doubt fearful, sector of society aware of the pressing need for change, for Spain to embrace the new ideas that were enjoying success in other European nations, but without violently shattering the status quo in which they had been born and lived. For half a century the Murcia-born José Moñino Redondo, the Count of Floridablanca, was a faithful agent of Charles III’s political ideas and held the post of secretary of state from 1777 to 1792. Following his dismissal and a bitter period in prison, he presided over the Junta Suprema Central in 1808.

The exhibition sets out to recreate the imaginary that illustrates Floridablanca’s achievements. It brings together some 300 works grouped into 15 sections. Solely in terms of the number of pieces on view, it can be considered one of the greatest exhibitions devoted to Charles III or eighteenth-century Spain in recent years. The paintings on show include works by Goya, Mengs, Batoni, Tiepolo, Maella and Bayeu... Sculpture is represented by pieces ranging from busts of Floridablanca and Nicolás de Araza to the Real Academia’s monumental equestrian statue of Charles II. 
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