Pedro Sainz de Andino

Pedro Sainz de Andino

  • 1831
  • Oil on canvas
  • 115 x 90 cm
  • Cat. P_164
  • Acquired in 1831
  • Observations: Según Carlos Navarro, fue intervenido después para añadir la valiosa condecoración recibida en 1833.

Born in 1786 in Alcalá de los Gazules, Pedro José Andino, who later modified his surname by adding that of his paternal grandfather, entered the Seminary of San Bartolomé in Cádiz at the age of eleven, and afterwards studied law at the University of Seville, where he was awarded his doctorate in 1806. His rival in those years was Alberto Lista, who was finally elected over him as deputy for the University. From 1813 to 1816 he lived in the south-west of France, showing him to be a sympathiser of the ‘intruder government’. Between 1820 and 1823 he reappeared in Catalonia, practising as an advocate and legal expert in Tortosa and Tarrasa. Finally, in 1827, he offered his services to the Finance Minister, Luis López Ballesteros, to help draw up the Code of Commerce and the Civil Code after a brief career as a theorist in these fields. Owing to his knowledge of foreign court proceedings, the State Council and other leading national institutions commissioned him to write reports, bills of entry and other documents related to his different specialities.

By a Royal Order of 4 July 1829, he drafted a decree to set up a bank for trade allowances, factoring, payments, loans and deposits. This later became the foundational decree of Banco de San Fernando, which is why his figure is so closely linked to that institution. In 1832 he drafted the document for its internal management, and soon afterwards, in recognition of his valuable work at the bank, he was made ministerial attorney to the Internal Revenue Council. He also helped to draw up the Criminal Code, a merit that earned him the appointment of attorney-general for the Council and Chamber of Castile. Later, he set about standardising the excise system and developing customs controls, as well as making numerous contributions to Spanish commercial legislation. Sainz de Andino’s incessant activity on behalf of the legislation and conceptualisation of the Spanish public administration, together with his fidelity to the Crown, also paved the way for a spell in politics, and he was elected senator at the end of his life.

In the picture by Esquivel preserved at Banco de España, he appears in a jurisconsult’s gown, the cuffs of the sleeves adorned with trimmings, in allusion to his position as ministerial attorney. He wears the attire as it had last been normalised in 1814. In his hand, moreover, he holds one of the projects mentioned above, the “Project for the Code of Commerce and the Criminal Code”. He sports a number of decorations, among which is the medal of a knight of the Order of Charles III, whose insignia hangs as a cravate. This had been awarded to him on 2 November 1830, before Esquivel painted his portrait, but he also wears the sash and Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic, which he received in 1833, two years after Esquivel had signed the painting. However, he does not display the medal of a full member of the Royal Academy of History, which was his from 1848 onwards. It must be deduced from all this that the portrait was painted by Esquivel in the year which figures by his signature, and underwent a later intervention to add the distinction awarded in 1833, though this must have been before his induction to the Academy in 1848 owing to the absence of the characteristic member’s medal.

The painting preserves the soft and ductile quality of the flesh and hair that is characteristic of the painter’s finest work, thereby relieving the severity of the sitter’s stiff posture to concentrate the attention on his direct gaze.

Carlos González Navarro

This painting by Esquivel in the Banco de España Collection shows Pedro Sainz de Andino wearing the gown of a legal expert. The embroidered trim of his cuffs denotes his status as a public prosecutor. The attire was standardised as depicted here in 1814. He is also holding one of major achievements: the draft of the Commercial Code and the Criminal Code. He is bedecked with decorations, including the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Charles III, whose insignia is worn like a tie. He was decorated on 2 November 1830, before Esquivel painted him. He is also wearing the Sash and Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic, which he received in 1833, i.e. two years after Esquivel signed the portrait. However, the painting does not show the medal identifying him as a full member of the Royal Academy of History, which he became in 1848. It therefore follows that the portrait was painted by Esquivel on the date shown beside his signature, but he later added the important honour received in 1833. It must however date from before 1848, the year he was admitted to the Academy, as he is not wearing the full member’s medal.

Javier Portús
Antonio María Esquivel y Suárez de Urbina
Sevilla 1806 - Madrid 1857

As with many Sevillian painters of his time, his biography revolves around that city, where he studied with Francisco Gutiérrez at the School of Fine Arts and was taught to admire Murillo; and Madrid, where he moved in 1831, thanks to the patronage of the British consul in Seville. The following year, he was named academician of merit by the Academy of San Fernando, and once he had settled at court, he began making a place for himself in that city’s art market, becoming a part of local art circles by helping to found cultural organisations, making contact with writers, and even writing art criticism himself. His interest in the arts and letters made him a typical representative of Romanticism, and this is visible in paintings such as Ventura de la Vega Reading a Work at the Teatro del Príncipe (Museo del Romanticismo, Madrid) and The Contemporary Poets, A Reading of Zorrilla at the Painter’s Studio (Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid).

He was one of the founders of Madrid’s Liceo Artístico y Literario in 1837, and the following year, he travelled to Seville to organize the Liceo Sevillano. There he became blind, but with the help of his friends, painters and writers, he was able to travel abroad, where his condition was cured in June 1840. The following year, he returned to his brilliant career in Madrid and two years later he was appointed court painter. In 1847, he was promoted to full membership of the Academy of San Fernando. His interest in participating in local art events is exemplified by his presence in 1856, just a year before his death, in the first National Exhibition of Fine Arts. Esquivel exercised influence on the art scene in Madrid through both his teaching and his Tratado de anatomía pictórica (Treatise on Pictorial Anatomy), first published in 1848.

He was a prolific painter, and while his catalogue includes a considerable variety of genres, his speciality was portraiture. Queens, infantas, politicians, soldiers, noblemen, the bourgeoisie and writers are the models for his individual and group portraits, and they allow us to recognise the protagonists of Romanticism in Madrid, as well as the middle and upper classes of his time. He produced a smaller number of religious paintings, with early works clearly indebted to Murillo and an evolution towards chromatic and compositional simplicity that approaches the work of the Nazarenes. He also painted historical and mythological images, as well as a few costumbrista works set in his native city, and even a few erotic paintings — something infrequent among Spanish painters of the time.

Javier Portús

Elena Serrano García
Pedro Sainz de Andino (Alcalá de los Gazules, Cádiz 1786 - Madrid 1863)

He took his degree in law at the University of Seville, earning his doctorate in 1806. Constitutionalist in his ideas, the return of Ferdinand VII drove him into exile in France. He returned to Spain during Ferdinand’s second phase of absolutism, when he held important offices.

He was an enormously copious legislator. In November 1827, he wrote a letter to the finance minister, Luis López Ballesteros, offering to draw up a Code of Commerce (1829), which he drafted personally. He was also the author of the Law for the Founding of Banco de San Fernando (1829), the precursor of Banco de España, and its internal regulations (1832), as well as the Law of Prosecution on Businesses and Commerce (1830) and the Law for the Foundation of the Madrid Stock Exchange (1834). Underlying all Sáinz de Andino’s mercantile legislation is the ultimate goal of favouring the formation and development of large mercantile companies and the investment of foreign capital. He acted as advisor to the minister López Ballesteros, and issued several judgements in this capacity.

Although his fame comes from the drafting of the Code of Commerce of 1829, mercantile legislation was not his only interest. He also worked intensively in the areas of administrative and criminal law, one example being the ‘Exposition on the political situation of the Kingdom and means for its restructuring’ of 1829, written at the behest of the king. Also worthy of note is his exposition to the king of October 1830 on the creation of an interior ministry and the centralisation of all the state income in the Internal Revenue.

He was a minister and fiscal advocate of the Internal Revenue Council, an honorary member of the Chamber of Castile, a knight of the Order of Charles III, and a senator of the realm, as well as a full member of the Academy of History and a holder of the Grand Cross of Isabella the Catholic.

Elena Serrano García

«2328 reales de vellón. Goya and the Origins of the Banco de España Collection», Banco de España (Madrid, 2021-2022).
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