Francisco de Goya

The Infante Don Luis de Bourbon (El Infante don Luis de Borbón)

The Infante Don Luis de Bourbon (El Infante don Luis de Borbón)
Datos Generales
Private collection, Madrid, Spain
49 x 40 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Private collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
17 Jan 2010 / 14 Sep 2022

Retrato del Serenísimo / Señor Ynfante Don Luis Antonio / Jayme de Borbón / Que de 9 a 12 de la mañana día 11 de sept / del año de 1783 / hacía don Francisco de Goya ("Portrait of His Highness the Señor Infante Don Luis Antonio de Bourbon, made between 9 and 12 in the morning of the 11th of September of 1783 by Don Francisco de Goya", on a piece of card stuck to the back of the canvas).


This work was painted for the Infante Don Luis. It came from Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) and belonged to the sitter's descendants, the Count and Countess of Chinchón, and was later inherited by the Duke and Duchess of Sueca.

Análisis artístico

The Infante Don Luis de Bourbon (1727-1785) was born at Madrid's Buen Retiro Palace. He was the youngest of the sons of Philip V and his second wife, Isabel de Farnesio. He received a careful upbringing and education, inheriting from his mother a taste for the arts and surrounding himself later in life with illustrious figures. At the age of eight he was promoted to the ranks of cardinal and archbishop of Toledo and Seville, but these he renounced following the death of his mother, stating that he lacked the vocation. In 1776, he entered into morganatic wedlock with María Teresa de Vallabriga y Rozas, of Zaragoza, and from this marriage were born María Teresa de Bourbon y Vallabriga, the future Countess of Chinchón, Luis María, who would later become cardinal-archbishop of Toledo, María Luisa and Antonio María, who died at an early age.

Just like the portrait of the infante's wife, with which this painting forms a pair, this work was done by Goya in the summer of 1783, during the first of the trips that the artist made to Arenas de San Pedro (Ávila), the habitual place of residence of the family. Both works are preparatory studies for the large canvas of The Family of the Infante Don Luis, housed at the Magnani-Rocca de Corte de Mamiano Foundation (Parma, Italy).

The bust portrait shows the sitter in profile, standing out from a dark background, wearing dress coat and white shirt with lace frills and buckle, over the top of which we see the blue sash of the Order of Charles III and, underneath, the red of the Golden Fleece. His hair is tied back in a short ponytail with a dark blue bow which is almost invisible against the background. We can see the intense blue colour of the infante's only visible eye, which Goya has tried to imbue with a certain transparent quality. In the sitter's rosy face we can appreciate the effects of age, along with something of the gentle, spiritual character of the subject.

The quick, loose brushstrokes make it entirely plausible that Goya completed this work in a very short amount of time, just as the inscription claims.

  • Francisco de Goya. IV Centenario de la capitalidad
    organized by Ayuntamiento de Madrid and Dirección General de Bellas Artes at the Casón del Buen Retiro
    consultant editor Valentín de Sambricio
  • Goya
    Musée Jacquemart-André
    consultant editor Jean-Gabriel Domergue. From December 1961 to February 1962
  • Goya nelle collezioni private di Spagne
    Villa Favorita
    consultant editor Marta Medina. From June 15th to October 15th 1986
  • Goya (1746 – 1828)
    Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’Pesaro
    consultant editor Antonio Fortún Paesa. From May 7th to July 4th 1989
  • Realidad e imagen. Goya 1746 – 1828
    Museo de Zaragoza
    consultant editor Federico Torralba Soriano. From October 3th to December 1st 1996
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Luis María de Borbón y Vallabriga
    Museo de Zaragoza
    organized by Fundación Goya en Aragón at the Museo de Zaragoza, consultant editors María Luisa Arguís and Miguel Beltrán Lloris. From September 25th 2007 to January 8th 2008
  • Goya y el infante don Luis: el exilio y el reino.
    Palacio Real, Madrid
    Arte y ciencia en la época de la ilustración española. Responsable científico Francisco Calvo Serraller. Del octubre de 2012 a enero de 2013.
  • Goya et la modernité
    Pinacothèque de Paris
    from October 11st 2013 to March 16th 2014
  • Goya: The Portraits
    La Familia del Infante don Luis, pintada por Goya
    Archivo español de ArteXIV, 41
    pp. 49-58
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 94 cat. 206
  • vol. I, p. 257, cat.144
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 99
  • LAFUENTE FERRARI, Enrique (comisario)
    Goya en las colecciones madrileñas
    MadridAmigos del Museo del Prado
    pp. 14 (il.) - 19
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp.148 (il.) y 343 , cat. 62
  • TORRALBA SORIANO, Federico (comisario)
    Realidad e imagen. Goya 1746 – 1828
    MadridGobierno de Aragón y Electa España
    pp. 86 y 87 (il.),cat. 21
  • JUNQUERA Y MATO, Juan José (comisario)
    Goya y el infante don Luis de Borbón (Homenaje a la “Infanta” María Teresa de Vallabriga)
    p. 86
  • OROPESA, Marisa and RINCÓN GARCÍA, Wilfredo
    ParísPinacoteca de París
    pp. 280-281
  • BRAY, Xavier
    LondonNational Gallery Company
    pp. 39-40
Enlaces externos
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