Paula Melzi de Eril (Abbiategraso, 1751 – Zaragoza, 1804) was a noblewoman who was originally from Italy. She was known as The Sun of Milan because of her beauty, elegance, and origins. She married Juan Felipe de Rebolledo Palafox, marquess of Lazán. Their son, José de Rebolledo Palafox y Melzi, was governor of Zaragoza during the Spanish War of Independence, and a hero of the Sieges of Zaragoza. She was a lady-in-waiting to Maria Luisa of Parma, princess of Asturias, and came to Spain as part of her entourage. Her brightly lit bracelet bears the princess' portrait. Her elegance and Italian background are evident in her clothing, accessories, and hairstyle. She was undoubtedly a woman who followed the fashions of the time. This portrait was painted around 1770–75. It was traditionally believed to be the work of Francisco Bayeu y Subías, but recent investigations attribute it to the Italian painter Pietro Melchiore Ferrari. It is part of the Valentín Carderera collection.


  • Title: Paula Melzi de Eril
  • Creator: Francisco Bayeu y Subías
  • Date: c. 1770 - 1775
  • Physical Dimensions: 92 x 108,3 x 7 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gobierno de Aragón
  • External Link: CERES MCU
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Photograph: Fernando Alvira Lizano
  • Cultural Context: Spanish Absolutism / Illustration

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