OIL PAINTING: Buffoon Barbarroja, c.1636
Velazquez painted a masterly painting of the buffoon Don Cristobal de Castaneda y Pernia - Buffoon Barbarroja, who was first in rank among the court jesters. He gave himself airs as a great military expert, thus earning the nickname of Barbarroja (Barbarossa or Red-beard). The ambitious buffoon aspired to military roles and he even acted as toreador in the arena although he was ill-fitted for doing it. His red robe is almost Turkish in style, and his head-dress suggests a fool's cap. He glares fiercely into space, and while he grips the sheath of his sword firmly, the sword itself is held in a relaxed position.