Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
1791 - 1792
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, United States
82.4 x 163.2 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Ficha: realización/revisión
27 Dec 2009 / 25 Aug 2022

See The Wedding.

Around 1856 or 1857, this cartoon was taken from the Royal Tapestry Factory to the Royal Palace in Madrid. In 1870 the tapestry cartoons that were in the basements of the palace were moved to the Prado Museum, back then known as the Painting and Sculpture Museum. It was then that six cartoons by Goya were discovered to be missing, including the one before us (see Children with a Cart). This cartoon disappeared without a trace for many years until, in 1975, it entered the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art from a private collection. It was donated by Anna Warren Ingersoll.

Análisis artístico

The See-Saw is an overdoor piece, the companion of Boys Climbing a Tree and Chicken Fights.

Some children are playing on an improvised see-saw made from two crossed logs. We can make out five figures: those at either end of the log, a third who is in front of them, crying, and in the background two more in conversation. The differences between the two children on the see-saw are obvious. Their distinct social positions are reflected in their clothing: the one on the left is dressed in an elegant yellow suit and perfect silk socks, whilst the other is wearing more modest clothes, and - as an additional symbol of his impoverishment - even his sock has slipped down. What is more, the wealthier child has his feet on the ground and is in control of the see-saw, his arms flung up in joy, whilst his playmate is suspended in the air with a scared look on his face, holding on for dear life.

Tomlinson has seen in several of the cartoons in this series a figurative representation of political instability and luck, this latter so fickle that no sooner does she lift you up to the top than she is flinging you back down to earth.

    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 99, cat. 40
  • SAMBRICIO, Valentín de
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 150, 170, 172, 277, cat. 61 y lám. 1
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 100, 374, cat. 306
  • vol. I, p. 283, cat. 306
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 105, cat. 262
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. II, p. 90
  • ARNAIZ, José Manuel
    Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    col. col. "Espasa Arte"
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 61, 170, 318, cat. 66C
  • TOMLINSON, Janis A.
    Francisco de Goya. Los cartones para tapices y los comienzos de su carrera en la corte de Madrid
    col. col. "Ensayos de Arte Cátedra"
    pp. 250-254 y p. 249 (il.)
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B. y MAURER, Gudrun (comisarias)
    Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 208
Enlaces externos
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