The Infant Don Francisco de Paula, 1799
Antonio Carnicero was born 1748 in Salamanca and died 1814 in Madrid. When he applied for the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, he won second prize. Later, he was scholarholder at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. When he returned to Spain, he specialised on portraits. In 1788, he was given membership of the Academy of San Fernando. He was under the protectorate of the influential minister Manuel Godoy whom he portrayed often, and he also made portraits of Karl IV and Maria Luisa of Parma. In 1789, he was appointed to the position of "Pintor de Cámara". At the same time, he worked for other patrons as well, especially for the Duke of Osuna.
In 1801, he became the art teacher of the Infants Karl (1788 - 1855) and Francisco de Paula. For this assignment, he received 12000 Reales per year.
At his time, he was a well-known portraitist and also illustrated contemporary texts. Gifted with a magnificent drawing talent, he cultivated in his works a precise style rich of detail, especially in regard to the representation of clothes.
Only recently, the boy portrayed here, was identified as Francisco de Paula, the youngest son of Karl IV and Maria Luisa of Parma. The golden fleece over his chest and the blue-white band of the Great Cross of of Karl III indicate that he was the son of Karl IV.
The infant is shown here in a garden with roses and bushes against the background of a mysterious darkness by which the boy is not affected however, stepping into a warm light with picked flowers in his hat.