When Maréchal Francisco Serrano y Dominguez sat for Nadar, he was forty-six years old and the Spanish ambassador to France, a post he held only for a year. He is more elaborately turned out than any other sitter to appear before Nadar's camera, bedecked with medals--including the cross of San Fernando--that attest to his military prowess. His carriage erect, he looks thoroughly accustomed to holding himself in this formal posture.
Because Nadar also photographed Serrano's successor Narvaez in full formal diplomatic regalia, he may have made the two photographs to commemorate the changing of the Spanish ambassadorial guard in September of 1857. Despite his illustrious career, Serrano is perhaps not remembered much today, even in Spain. In happy coincidence with his splendid appearance, however, the Calle Serrano, Madrid's equivalent of Fifth Avenue or Rodeo Drive, is named after him.