Francisco de Goya

Self-Portrait (Autorretrato)

Self-Portrait (Autorretrato)
Datos Generales
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
51 x 46 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando
Ficha: realización/revisión
15 Apr 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

Goya 1815 (on the left, at shoulder height).


Traditionally, it was believed that the self-portrait now in the Prado Museum was a copy of this one. Today, however, we know that both works were executed in 1815, although we do not know which of the two was painted first, or what were the artist's reasons for making them.

In the inventory of the property of the Quinta del Sordo made by the painter Brugada in 1828 (DESPARMET, L'œuvre..., 1928-50, t. I, p. 53), a bust self-portrait of Goya is listed, and appears to correspond to this work. It went to Javier Goya, who reached an agreement with the academy that, once the outstanding accounts they held with his father had been settled, he would deliver them this self-portrait by Goya. In 1829, Javier Goya received the payment for the equestrian portrait of Ferdinand VII that the institution had commissioned in 1808, and he gave this self-portrait to the academy.

Análisis artístico

This self-portrait, at first glance so similar to the one in the Prado, is in fact quite different. The compositional differences are minimal, with the head being tilted to one side more in this work, almost drawing a diagonal line, as if the painter were peeking over the top of his easel. Although his hair is shorter here, he is wearing the same clothes: dark gown and white shirt with the collar open, revealing part of his chest. Also, just as in the other self-portrait, the painter is looking straight out at the viewer. But this Goya is not ill, nor tired, nor as aged as the one in the Prado. Even at the age of sixty-nine, his skin is firm, rosier and more youthful than in the other work. The expression on his face, with a half smile playing around the corners of his mouth, reflects a certain sense of joy, as if he were ready for whatever obstacle the world had to throw at him, thanks to the many that he had already overcome by this time. The paint is applied more thickly here, most visible in the white shirt collar, which resembles a lacy adornment, and also evident on the left-hand side of the forehead. Here the background is of an impenetrable black, drawing the head and neck of Goya out in sharp relief.

  • Goya 1900
    Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas Artes
    consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900
  • Les chefs-d’œuvre du Musée du Prado
    Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
    consultant editors Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor y Pedro Muguruza Otaño. From June to September 1939
  • Autorretratos de pintores españoles
    Museo Nacional de Arte Moderno
  • Goya
    Festival Internacional de Granada, Palacio de Carlos V
    consultant editor Enrique Lafuente Ferrari
  • Goya
    Musée Jacquemart-André
    consultant editor Jean-Gabriel Domergue. From December 1961 to February 1962
  • Goya and his times
    The Royal Academy of Arts
    cat. 66
  • El arte de Goya
    Museo de Arte Occidental de Tokio
    from 16th 1971 to January 23th 1972. Exhibited also at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, January 29th to March 15th 1972.
  • Goya en las colecciones madrileñas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. From April 19th to June 20th 1983
  • Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. II, p. 203, cat. 492
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 205, 297, 377, cat. 1551
  • vol. I, p. 363, cat. 637
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 129, cat. 584
  • José Camón Aznar
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 34 y p. 144 (il.)
Enlaces externos
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