Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660) was the most famous Spanish painter of the seventeenth century. Not only was he a contemporary of Rembrandt, but he also had a comparably virtuoso painting style. As court painter to Spanish king Philip IV, he produced a great number of portraits. His series of portraits of little people and court jesters is extraordinary, and this portrait of Diego de Acedo is perhaps the most beautiful one of the group.
Little people at royal courts were usually jesters, and were especially popular at the Spanish court. But not Diego de Acedo: he had an administrative role at the 'Estampa', the office where the royal documents were provided with an official seal.