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Francisco de Goya.
The Count of Floridablanca and Goya.
1783. Oil on canvas, 262 x 166 cm. Banco Urquijo, Madrid, Spain. More. [Order a Print][Order a Hand-Painted Reproduction]
José Moñino, the Count of Floridablanca
(1728-1808), Spanish statesman, the First Secretary of State of Charles III, patron of arts and Goya. He was appointed member of the Council of Castille by Charles III, and played a significant part in the expulsion of the Jesuits from Spain (1767). In 1772, he was appointed Ambassador to the Holy See. In 1773, he was nominated Count of Floridablanca. In 1777, Charles III made him Prime Minister. His government favored the infrastrucutre, the arts, the sciences and the economy, and adopted shrewd financial policies; in relations with foreign countries it strove to distance itself from the policies of France. In Madrid he initiated the construction of the astronomical observatory and the Cabinet of Natural History. He supported the foundation of the Bank of San Carlos, the institution of the Real Compañía de Filipinas and the development of the Real Armada. In 1792, as a result of the intrigues of Manuel Godoy and the Count of Aranda, he had to resign and was submitted to a trial, on charges of embezzlement, which ended in 1795 with his full acquittal. In 1808, at the age of 80, he was appointed head of the Junta Central raised to fight the French