Raimundo Madrazo, full Spanish name Raimundo de Madrazo y Garreta, was initially the student of his outside Spain better known father Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz, a renowned portraitist of the time. In 1860, nineteen years old, he left Spain for Paris, where he finished his studies under Léon Cogniet and continued, mostly, to live and work there for the rest of his life.
But he never broke the ties with his old country, as is evident in this portrait of the actress María Guerrero as Doña Inés in José Zorrilla’s Don Juan Tenorio. In this play, which is Zorrilla’s most successful and has been performed every year since 1844 at least on All Saints Day, Doña Inés was engaged to Don Juan, her father breaks off the engagement because of the latter’s depravity, and sends her to a convent instead. In the scene shown in the picture, she finds a love letter by Don Juan in her prayer book.