Antonio Perez

Antonio Perez (1540-1611) was the Secretary of State to Philip II, king of Spain. Born illegitimate to Gonzalo Perez, a previous Secretary of State, Antonio Perez attended several universities and visited Italy at a young age, where he cultivated a love of Italian art and poetry. He owned a noteworthy collection of paintings, most of which he imported from outside Spain or received as gifts. A 1585 inventory of the collection counted 127 paintings spanning genres, including history, mythology, and portraiture. This large collection was used against him in his trial for the murder of Juan de Escobedo in 1578 as evidence of his excessive wealth; he was eventually exiled to France. In the 1570s, the Spanish Council of Ten asked Titian for a gift for Perez, and Titian likely gave him two religious works: Entombment, and Adam and Eve (which may have been inherited from his father).

Sources:
Delaforce, Angela. “The Collection of Antonio Pérez, Secretary of State to Philip II.” The Burlington Magazine 124, no. 957 (1982): 742–53.

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