Portrait of Francisco de Paula Navia y Velasquez as a Child Holding a Pet Bird, 1789
    Oil on canvas
    39-1/2 x 31 inches (100.3 x 78.7 cm)

    Sitter identified on the scroll of paper at lower left which bears the date 1789

    This charming portrait of a young boy holding a pet bird on a tether--symbolic of someone with nascent leadership (especially military) skills--is characteristic of the portraiture produced during the last quarter of the eighteenth century by Cuban painter Vicente Escobar. Trained in Spain at Madrid's august Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Escobar served as painter to Queen Maria Cristina of Spain in 1827. Among his significant works are a series of portraits of military officials, which at the close of Spanish rule in Cuba were moved to Spain and are currently stored at the Archives of the Indies in Seville.

    Master Francisco de Paula Navia y Velasquez is depicted in this portrait in garments that signal him as a "cadet" in the Spanish guard. Such a presentation would have been appropriate for the son of a powerful naval general involved in campaigns in Cuba. Indeed, this sitter's father was almost certainly General Victorio de Navia Osorio, son of a Spanish marquis and head of the Royal Corps of Spanish Guards who commanded 10,000 men between Cadiz and Havana on April 28, 1780. This powerful military contingent consisted of twelve ships, three frigates, four brigs of war, and 82 transport vessels.

    Condition Report*:

    Framed in a magnificent ornamental period fram

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    17th Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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