Francisco de Goya

Two Women and a Man (Dos mujeres y un hombre)

Two Women and a Man (Dos mujeres y un hombre)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1820 - 1823
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
125 x 66 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil painting on plaster transferred to canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
28 Oct 2010 / 24 Aug 2022

See Leocadia.

Análisis artístico

This work was located on the same wall as The Reading (La lectura) on the first floor of the house known as the Quinta del Sordo, on the wall opposite the door. Like its companion painting, it is also a vertical composition. The title given to the work by Brugada - Two Women (Dos mujeres) - and that chosen by Yriarte - Two Women Laughing (Dos mujeres riéndose) - are so imprecise that we cannot know how they were interpreted when they were viewed in their original location. The way the women laugh at the third figure in the painting, as well as the man's contorted facial expression and pose have led to the interpretation most commonly accepted by art historians and proposed by Angulo, who describes the man as being involved in the act of masturbation. In turn, the act has been linked to the Athenian myth of the Vulcan, whose semen, rejected by Minerva, fell on the Earth (Gaia) and engendered a monstrous being. Nevertheless, x-rays and old photographs have proved that the painting underwent repainting, altering the original position of the hands and lap of the man: originally, he may have been holding a piece of paper or a book. Based on this new vision of the work, Glendinning proposed the theory that the wall at the end of the room was dedicated to two different expressions of reading: one serious (The Reading) and one comic (Two Women and a Man).


This work was restored by Martínez Cubells, who lifted the paintwork from the wall to transfer it to canvas, and also repainted certain sections of the composition where the paint had been lost.

  • Pinturas Negras en la Exposición Universal de París
    Palacio del Trocadero
    from may 20th to November 10th 1878
  • 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
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 327-329, cat. 1618
  • vol. I, p.380, cat. 711
  • MULLER, Priscilla
    Goya's Black Paintings: Truth and Reason in Light and Liberty
    New YorkHispanic Society of America
    p. 108-113
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
  • BOZAL, Valeriano
    Las pinturas negras de Goya, Alcobendas
    T.F. Editores
  • JUNQUERA, Paulina
    Las Pinturas Negras de Goya
    LondonScala Publishers Ltd.
Enlaces externos
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