Diego Velázquez painted a handful of portraits of the court jesters from the court of Philip IV, the king of Spain. Jesters existed in an exploitative limbo in the courts; while influential, they were usually people of low birth, often who suffered from physical disabilities that the royals considered amusing. In the case of this gentleman, the graceful jester Pablo de Valladolid, his declamatory pose suggests that he was an actor, who imitated characters from popular plays to entertain the court. Velázquez’s portraits are remarkable for their restraint, and this is a perfect example. A solid colored background and simple apparel places focus on the hands and face of the actor—his most expressive tools.