ca. 1635 Retrato de la condesa de Olivares by Diego Velázquez (location unknown to gogm)

This image was provided by Louis Ortiz. Wikipedia identifies it as a Spanish court lady; Louis identifies this as the condesa de Olivares. Her husband is the subject of a flashy Velázquez equestrian portrait. Louis Ortiz provides this (mildly edited) information about the Countess:  "Her full name is Doña Inés De Acevedo De Zuñiga y Velasco and she is of the family (probably aunt) of Inés Francisca De Zuñiga y Fonseca, Condesa de Monterrey who appears here.

She was born in Zamora in 1584 and died in Loeches (Madrid) in 1647, belonging to the House of Zuñiga (descendants of the fist King of Navarra Iñigo Arista). She was as Grandee of Spain, Lady-in-waiting of Queen Margaret of Austria (wife of Phillip III), and First Lady of Isabel de Borbón (Elizabeth of France) wife of Phillip IV. She was also tutor of Prince of Asturias Baltazar Carlos.

She marriend her cousin Don Gaspar Guzmán y Pimentel, Count of Olivares (later Count-Duke of Olivares) in 1607. He used her as a channel to reach Grandee position both for her origins and the tradition in the Spanish Royal Court of granting the Grandee tittle to their Ladies in waiting when marrying. They had three children: Alonso, María, and Inés but only María Survived to adulthood. When his husband was banned from the Court in 1643, as tutor of the Prince, she had to stay for two more years before she received permission to resign to her position in the Court. She was then being able to accompany her husband in the exile to their dominions of Loeches where she died in 1647, two years after him.

Doña Inés was subject of Spanish writer Benito Pérez Galdós in his book Doña Perfecta, portraying her as a perfect example of the tipical Spanish woman just as  beautiful, perfect and admirable like a rose and its thorns."

The Countess wears a saya that is almost morphed into another form of dress. Her dress qualifies as a saya due to the vestigial ruff and hanging sleves, Her dress makes extensive use of tabs - at the waistline, where the sleeves join the bodice, and at the cuff ends of the hanging sleeves. The style for triangular bodice features found in the north can also be seen here.

Keywords:  1635, Vellázquez, Guzmán y Pimentel family, Countess, Spanish, high straight coiffure, hair ornament, high neckline, neckline ruff, tabbed sleeves, hanging sleeves, false sleeves, cuffs, girdle, basque waistline, full skirt, necklace, earrings, jeweled bodice, rings, saya


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