José Moreno Carbonero: The Conversion of the Duke of Gandía (1884)

(Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain)

A historical painting by the Spanish artist José Moreno Carbonero (1860-1942). The painting shows Francis Borgia, 4th Duke of Gandía (1510-1572) being confronted by the body the deceased Isabella of Portugal (1503-1539), Holy Roman Empress and the wife of Holy Roman emperor Charles V. Francis Borgia was the son of Juan Borgia, 3rd Duke of Gandía, and Juana, daughter of Alonso de Aragón, Archbishop of Zaragoza. Francis was very pious as a child but was raised at the imperial court of emperor Charles V. When Isabella of Portugal died in 1539 Francis escorted the body of Isabella to her burial place in Granada. When Francis saw the body of Isabella he broke down in tears, taught him 'the vanity of life and of its grandeurs' and decided to reform his life. When in 1546 his wife Eleanor died, Francis gave his dukedom to his eldest son Luis de Borja-Aragon y de Castro-Melo and he himself joined the Society of Jesus (= the Jesuits). As a Jesuit priest he lived a humble life and became Superior General of the Society of Jesus (= leader of the Society of Jesus) in 1565 until his death in 1572. Francis was beatified in 1624 and canonized in 1670 and is the patron saint of Portugal, and against earthquakes. Painting from 1884.