Clad in elegant riding clothes, the duke of Alba melancholically looks up from the music book he is holding in his hands, including "Four songs/with piano accompaniment/by Mr. Haydn". The chamberlain of Charles IV of Spain
commissioned several works from Joseph Haydn
and was a gifted musician himself. In this painting, Goya subtly combines the symbols of his model's passion for music and equestrian skills (viola or violin, riding boots and riding hat) with the interiors of the ducal residence.