|Inscribed: On frame, on stick-on labels stuck on old card, in ink: “Numeración antigua/se desconoce/Moderna 211". On stretcher, in ink: “Canonigo". On stretcher and back of frame, on remains of labels, in ink: “(...) N.M. 2(...)/ Retrato de/ Mengs".
Provenance: Bequeathed by the artist, the Canon Tomàs de Puiguriguer, to the Academy (testament dating from May 26th 1869).
Note: The original of this work (of identical dimensions) and those that bear numbers 169 and 196 belonged to the collection of José Nicolás de Azara, and were painted by Mengs in Florence in 1774;
the present work passed on a short-term loan from the collection of Azara to the Museo de Saragossa from where it was later returned to Azara's heirs. This work is well-known because it was published in Wincklemann's Storia delle arti del disegno (1773) out of a drawing by Bonaventura Salesa and an engraving by Giacomo Bossi executed in Rome in 1784.
The portrayed (Barbuñales, Aragon, 1774 - Paris, 1804), Spanish ambassador in Rome and a very close friend of Mengs, mantained strong links with the Catalan city council and with the Escola de Llotja. He played an essential role in the acquisition of several drawings and other works made by Mengs for the above mentioned institution in 1779, 1783, 1784 and 1786 (the drawings are currently lost).|