Ricardo Macarrón (Madrid, 1926-Segovia, 2004) was a Spanish painter who studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and after receiving an scholarship, continued his studies in Paris. Although he never held the title of Court Painter he completed numerous portraits of five generations of the Royal Family. Macarrón also painted foreign royalty, including Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom, the previous Grand Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, Queen Noor of Jordan or the late Princess Grace of Monaco. His first royal assignment came from Her Majesty Queen Victoria Eugenia in 1967. Reminiscencing in an interview in 2001, Macarrón was still nervous. “I was shaking all over. Her presence was impressive, her movements, her gestures. Usually, all those (royal) portraits suppose a strain, but I have never seen anything like her”
Stress from the painter aside, the Queen and her family liked it, and both of Her Majesty’s daughters, Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Beatriz, Princess Torlonia di Civitella-Cesi and Her Royal Highness the Infanta María Cristina, Countess Marone, commissioned a portrait that same year.
In 1971, Macarrón travelled to Estoril for his next royal portrait, Her Royal Highness Doña María de las Mercedes, Countess of Barcelona.
Years later, he would paint her husband, the Count of Barcelona, both in daywear and in uniform with condecorations. This latter portrait would be used for stamps featuring the Count of Barcelona in 1993.
The first time Macarrón painted the King and Queen they were still Prince and Princess of Spain. It was a commission from the director of the National Olympic Committee, to replace a portrait of Franco and his wife. From that moment on, Ricardo Macarrón completed many portraits of the Royal couple.
In 1984 King Juan Carlos surprised his wife Doña Sofía with three portraits of their children. The Infantas and the Prince told their mother they were going to the dentist when they went to Macarrón’s studio to pose:
Five years later, Macarrón would paint an older Prince of Asturias in naval uniform and with the Golden Fleece His Royal Highness had received two years earlier.
That same year, Her Royal Highness the Infanta Doña Pilar and her husband, His Excellency the Duke of Badajoz and Viscount of La Torre, posed for Macarrón:
Three years before his death, Ricardo Macarrón, who had already painted HM Queen Victoria Eugenia, her children, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren, painted the portrait of a young Felipe de Marichalar y Borbón, first-born of HRH the Infanta Doña Elena and great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria Eugenia, the first royal who posed for him.
Juan Valentín Urdangarín y Borbón, first born of HRH the Infanta Cristina, was Macarrón’s last royal subject a year after his cousin.