Azara, José Nicolás de
- Mercedes Agueda
(b Barbuñales, 1730; d Paris, Jan 26, 1804)
Spanish diplomat, writer and patron . He studied at the University of Salamanca and entered the Ministerio de Estado at an early age. His political career included service in the Spanish Embassy in Rome as Agente de Preces from 1766, and he rose to be Ambassador there from 1784 to 1798, when he was appointed Ambassador to Paris; a second appointment to this post lasting until shortly before his death.
Azara was a typical figure of the Age of Enlightened Despotism—a Royalist and convinced anti-Jesuit. He cultivated the 18th-century literary genre of letter-writing, corresponding with leading figures such as the statesman and general Don Pedro Pablo Conde de Aranda, the printer Giambattista Bodoni, Manuel de Roda and Bernardo de Iriarte. He was in touch with intellectual circles, and among his friends were the Spaniards E. Llaguno (d 1799) and E. de Arteaga (1747–99), Italians such as Carlo Fea (...