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María Josefa Pimentel, Duchess of Osuna

Doña María Josefa Alonso-Pimentel y Téllez-Girón, Duchess of Osuna, Grandee of Spain, suo jure 15th Countess-12th Duchess of Benavente (26 November 1752 – 5 October 1834), was a Spanish aristocrat, famous for her patronage of artists, writers and scientists.

María Josefa Pimentel, Duchess of Osuna
Duchess Countess of Benavente by Goya.jpg
The Duchess of Osuna, by Francisco de Goya, 1785
Full name
María Josefa Pimentel, Duchess of Osuna
Born(1752-11-26)26 November 1752
Madrid, Spain
Died5 October 1834(1834-10-05) (aged 81)
Madrid, Spain
Noble familyHouse of Benavente
Spouse(s)Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna


She married Pedro Téllez-Girón, 9th Duke of Osuna in 1771. The couple had many children; her possessions and noble titles were absorbed thereto by the Osuna family.[1] One of her children was Joaquina Téllez-Girón, Marchioness of Santa Cruz, who was also portrayed by Goya.

The Duchess and her husband were among the most important aristocrats who became patrons of the painter Francisco de Goya. The Duchess not only purchased one of the first editions of Los Caprichos, but also commissioned a series of cabinet paintings on the subject of witchcraft from Goya, amongst them El aquelarre (Witches' Sabbath). In the famous portrait Goya painted of her, she is shown standing with noble reserve, and dressed according to the fashion initiated by Queen Marie Antoinette in Paris at that time. In another famous painting, Goya portrayed the ducal family.

Palace of the Dukes of Osuna

The Duchess was interested in landscape gardening and from the 1780s she developed a garden at El Capricho, the family estate at Alameda de Osuna, near Madrid. The garden, which survives in good condition, shows English and French influence.

Full name and titleEdit

In full, her Spanish name and titles were: Doña María Josefa de la Soledad Alonso Pimentel Téllez-Girón Borja y Centelles, décimo quinta condesa y décimo segunda duquesa de Benavente, décimo tercera duquesa de Béjar, décimo tercera duquesa de Plasencia, décimo segunda duquesa de Arcos, décimo cuarta duquesa de Gandia, novena duquesa de Mandas y Villanueva, octava marquesa de Jabalquinto, décimo quinta marquesa de Gibraleón, novena marquesa de Terranova, décimo segunda marquesa de Lombay, décimo sexta marquesa de Zahara, décimo octava condesa de Mayorga, décimo sexta condesa de Luna, décimo tercera condesa de Bañares, séptima condesa de Belalcázar, décimo cuarta condesa de Oliva, décimo primera condesa de Mayalde, décimo segunda condesa de Bailén, décimo segunda condesa de Casares, décimo quinta vizcondesa de la Puebla de Alcocer, 6 veces Grande de España, principessa di Anglona, duchessa di Monteagudo, marchesa di Marguini, contessa di Osilò e di Coguinas en Cerdeña, dama de la Orden de María Luisa.[citation needed]


Additional informationEdit

Images by Francisco GoyaEdit

Paintings by Francisco Goya for the Duke and DuchessEdit


  • Hobbs, Nicolas (2007). "Grandes de España" (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 29 November 2006. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  • Instituto de Salazar y Castro. Elenco de Grandezas y Titulos Nobiliarios Españoles. periodic publication.
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Francisco Pimentel
of Benavente

Succeeded by
Pedro Téllez-Girón