Gaspar Méndez de Haro, 7th Marquis of Carpio
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
He was the son of don Luis de Haro, marquis of Carpio, and Catharina Fernandez de Cordoba y Aragon. His father was valido, prime minister and advisor to King Philip IV of Spain, having succeeded his uncle, Olivares in the role.
Gaspar had the ambition to follow in his father's footsteps, but was frustrated in his ambitions. He was then suspected to be behind a plan to kill the King by blowing up the Buen Retiro Palace. As a punishment, he was sent to Portugal to fight the insurgents. In 1677, he was rehabilitated and sent to Rome as embassador, until July 1682. He then became Viceroy of Naples, then a Spanish possession, until his death in 1687.
Gaspar de Haro was a renowned art collector. During his stay in Rome his agent, Antonio Saurer negotiated in Venice the acquisition of important works of art. When he died in 1687, he had a collection of an estimated 3000 paintings, 1200 in Spain and the rest in Naples.
In this collection were :
- the Rokeby Venus by Diego Velázquez
- the Magdalene by Titian
- several paintings by Tintoretto
- Christ Crowned with Thorns by Antonello da Messina (now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art)
He also engaged Bernini to make a copy of his famous fontain on the Piazza Navona in Rome, to be placed in Naples. He first married Antonia de la Cerda Enríquez de Ribera y Portocarrero, daughter of Antonio de la Cerda, 7th Duke of Medinaceli; and after her death he married on 11 June 1671 Teresa Enriquez de Cabrera. They had one daughter Catalina , 8th marquesa of Carpio , 5th duchess of Olivares, who later married the 10th Duke of Alba, taking much of his art collection into the Alba collection. Gaspar de Haro is buried in the pantheon of the Count-Dukes of San Lúcar and Olivares at Loeches near Madrid.