Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Francisco Lezcano “El niño de Vallecas” 1640

Francisco Lezcano served as a buffoon for the infant Baltasar Carlos from 1634 to 1649, what has given form to both speculations about his identity as well as his disability. It has been mentioned that Moreno Villa assumes that Francisco lezcano is the dwarf that accompanies Baltasar Carlos in the portrait at the Boston Museum of Arts, but it seems that the script found in this picture in 1800 excludes this possibility. Either registered as Francisco lezcano, Lezcanillo, “The boy from Vallecas” or “The dwarf from Biscay” as fostered some controversy about the nature of his disability. Those as Justi and heake, who assumed that he was originally from Vallecas , purport the theses that he suffered from cretinism, since the Guadarrama Mountain range fits the conditions of a place devoid of iodine. Others opt for a case of pseudoachondroplasia or pituitary. dwarfism. More recent works point the case as hydrocephalic. Both the nickname “El enano vizcaíno” and the lastname Lezcano, a basque toponym, places his most likely origin in North Spain, but there is no conclusive evidence. He began to serve infant Baltasar Carlos when the prince was five years old, which excludes the possibility of being the one that appears in the Portarit of 1632, as Moreno Villa suggests. Short before she died, the Queen Isabel of France got into caprice of the dwarf of his nephew, the Cardinal infant of Flanders during one of her trips in 1643, and took him as an “ayuda de cámara” for his son the prince Baltasar Carlos, then aged 14. He is assigned the same wage that he had under the Cardinal and he is assigned a butler as a favour. He must have been very loved by the infant because in September while in his deathbed he made explicit that his sword and a carved knife should be given to Sebastián[1]. He survived three year the infant and died in palace in 1649. This is one of the portraits in which the dignified attitude of the jesters is more evident, since the subject is staring back at the observer, even though is true that his sat position might recall the one of a muppet, as has been observed[2]
Melania Moscoso, 2009 ©

[1] Moreno Villa, Op.cit.p.120
[2] Prater, Andreas, and Hermann Bauer. 1997. Painting of the Baroque. Epochs & styles. Köln: Taschen. P,103

Creative Commons License
This obra by Representations of Disability in Spanish Baroque Portraiture:Velazquez´s jesters is licensed under a Creative Commons Reconocimiento 3.0 Estados Unidos License.
Based on a work at


shashank said...

Here is a link to more information about the genetics of Pseudoachondroplasia that was prepared by our genetic counselor and which has links to some useful resource for those dealing with this condition: There is also a number listed for anyone who wants to speak to a genetic counselor by phone. I hope it helps. Thanks, AccessDNA

Caperucita Coja said...

I do not think I have anything special to be helped about.........


Mathias said...
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