Federico de Madrazo was one of the finest portrait artists of 19th century in Spain and Europe. In his portraits, that move in the ambit of exquisite elegance, he conceives the figures with firm and precise drawing, bringing them to life thorough a fine and subtle idealisation. However, this portrait of María Encarnación Cueto y Ortega, duchess of Rivas, belongs to the painter’s mature period, when he resigns that idealization. In fact, she seems tired and we can appreciate the passage of time on her face. The same occurs with the portrait of her husband, Mr. Ángel de Saavedra y Ramírez de Baquedano, the duke of Rivas, executed probably around 1881 (Museo del Romanticismo, inv. 2059). He was a military man, diplomat, politician and painter but has been always better known for his literary side, having received definitive recognition for his Romantic drama Don Álvaro o La fuerza del sino, opened at the Príncipe Theatre of Madrid on 22 March 1835.