(b. 1541, Candia, d. 1614, Toledo)

Jerónimo de Cevallos

c. 1610
Oil on canvas, 70,8 x 62,7 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The identification of the sitter is based on a comparison with a print of 1613 by the engraver and silversmith Pedro Ángel. Jerónimo de Cevallos (1562-1644) studied law at Salamanca University and in about 1600 settled in Toledo to practise as a lawyer. He became a member of the city council in 1605 and following his wife's death, a priest. He acquired fame for his writings on legal questions.

The painting is undoubtedly one of El Greco's portrait masterpieces, demonstrating not only his technical skill but also his great sensitivity to his sitter. While the enormous ruff might seem a little pretentious, the face, with its tremulous outline and slightly drawn features, conveys dignity and serenity.

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