Oil on canvas
This painting is considered Goya's first important portrait commission, and it's success is credited with beginning Goya's ascent to become the leading painter of Madrid. The setting of the image visually describes the subject, with objects of rank and responsibility placed around the dark interior. The time on the clock indicates, along with the heavy shadows, that both Goya and the Count kept late working hours.
Commented upon by art historians is the action of Goya within the painting. He is presenting a painting to the Count, who seems to be peering into a mirror and checking the likeness and accuracy of the image. On the floor lays a book which indicates the Count's involvement with the work of making this painting:
The use of mirrors became a Goya theme of itself, and this painting of Count Floridablanca is similar to his Family of Carlos IV in that the viewer of the painting is in the place of a reflecting mirror. To read about Goya and his use of mirrors within his artworks, go to Goya and Mirrors.