- Vitor Serrão
[Montebelo, Marquês de]
(b Torre da Fonte, 1595; d Madrid, 1662).
Spanish painter and writer, also active in Portugal. He received a classical education at Santiago de Compostela and participated at court in the activities of music, dance and painting. In Madrid he was a personal friend of Diego Velázquez. Machado wrote sonnets and picaresque novels and was also a friend of the Camões scholar Manuel de Faria e Sousa. He was interested in the history of the nobility and concerned with the defence of the Liberal Arts.
Machado made his living entirely from painting, especially portraiture. The Portrait of the Artist’s Children António, Francisco and Diogo (c. 1635–40; Portugal, Countess of Figueira, priv. col., see Santos, pl. 20) is charming. A self-portrait (1635–40; Portugal, Dona Maria José Machado de Castro Branco, priv. col., see exh. cat., pl. 36) shows the artist painting his son, Francisco, with Dona Bernarda. The vibrant tonalities and the misty backgrounds are reminiscent of Velázquez’s work. Machado’s work should be seen in the context of Spanish portrait painting rather than as part of the less formal and plainer conception of portraiture then current in Portugal....