Francisco de Goya

Self-Portrait (Autorretrato)

Self-Portrait (Autorretrato)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1815
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
46 x 35 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
14 Apr 2010 / 21 Oct 2021

Fr. Goya / Aragones / Por el mismo / 1815 ("Francisco Goya, Aragonese, By himself, 1815", on the left-hand side, at the height of the neck, incised into the paint).


It is not known whether Goya made this self-portrait for himself or for someone in his close circle of family and friends, or whether it was actually a commissioned work. It used to be thought that this work was a copy of the self-portrait at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, signed and dated 1815. After the work was recently cleaned, however, it was discovered that this painting also had an inscription, according it a certain official status. The fact that two such similar works exist, both of them signed and dated, and considering that the academy work was delivered by Javier Goya following his father's death, suggests that perhaps this work was also meant for one of the fine arts academies of which Goya was a member, such as those of Valencia or Zaragoza, but never reached its destination.

Brugada's inventory of Goya's assets, completed after the artist's death, includes two bust portraits of the painter. It seems that one of them corresponds to the academy one, and so perhaps the other corresponds to this work. It belonged to Javier Goya, who sold it to Román Garreta or Román de la Huerta. The correct identification of the buyer is complicated by the fact that different documents list his name in different ways. We know that in 1866, by a Royal Order dated 5 April, the Museum of La Trinidad paid the owner the sum of four hundred escudos for the portrait. In 1872, with the merging of the Museum of La Trinidad and the Royal Museum, the work became the property of the National Painting and Sculpture Museum, now the Prado Museum.

Análisis artístico

Of all the known self-portraits of Goya, this one, together with the version in the Academy of San Fernando, is one of the most sincere and direct. It is a bust portrait depicting the painter at the age of sixty-nine, in front of a dark, brown-hued background, where the marks of the swirling brushstrokes are clearly visible. Goya has painted himself wrapped in a gown, similar to the one his disciple, Asensio Julià, wears in his portrait, and from beneath which the white shirt, with its clearly repainted collar, pokes out. All of the portrait's intensity is concentrated on the facial features, with little attention paid to the clothing or background. The artist's head is turned slightly to the left. His face, framed by the wayward and now greying hair which leaves his forehead uncovered, is looking almost straight out at the viewer. He looks tired, sickly and somewhat nostalgic. Despite this, his gaze transmits the determination and fortitude of someone who has overcome many different obstacles in the course of his long life, and he appears calm and even proud and dignified. The main difference between this self-portrait and its companion piece in the Academy of San Fernando is the artist's posture and mood.

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    Palacio de Pedralbes
    from April 12th to June 30th 1977
  • Obras maestras de la pintura española de los siglos XVI al XIX
    Museo Pushkin
    Exhibited also at the State Hermitage Museum, San Petersburgo
  • Las obras grabadas más importantes de Francisco de Goya
    Palacio de Iturbide
    Mexico D.F.
    organized by the Banco Nacional de México
  • Von Greco bis Goya
    Haus der Kunst
    From February 20th to April 25th 1982. Exhibited also at the Künstlerhaus, Viena
  • Du Greco á Goya: chefs-d’œuvre du Musée du Prado et des collections espagnoles
    Musée d’Art et D’Histoire
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    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
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    Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
    consultant editor José Luis Díez
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    Alte Nationalgalerie
    from July 13th to October 3th 2005. Exhibitied also at the Kunsthistorischemuseum, Vienna, October 18th 2005 to January 8th 2006, consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
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    Museo de Zaragoza
    organized by the Fundación Goya en Aragón at the Museo de Zaragoza, consultant editors Valeriano Bozal and Concepción Lomba Serrano. From December 18th 2008 to March 22nd 2009
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    Palazzo Reale
    organized by SEACEX, Palazzo Reale and Fundación Goya en Aragón, consultant editors Valeriano Bozal and Concepción Lomba Serrano. From March 17th to June 27th 2010
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    consultant editors José Manuel Matilla and Manuela B. Marqués. From March 16th to June 24th 2012
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    Museum of Fine Arts
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. II, p. 211, cat. 500
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    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
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  • vol. I, p. 363, cat. 638
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    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
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    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 34
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    MadridMuseo del Prado
    p. 416, cat. 147 y p. 247 (il.)
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    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
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Ficha en SAAC

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