Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
Ca. 1786
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, United States
34.3 x 35.6 cm
Técnica y soporte
Tempera on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
The Art Institute of Chicago
Ficha: realización/revisión
13 Dec 2009 / 28 Mar 2023
(1990. 558)

Sketch for the tapestry cartoon The Snowstorm.

This sketch was made by Goya in autumn 1786, to be shown to the king for his approval. A document certifies that the artist requested payment for a carriage to take him to the palace of San Lorenzo de El Escorial expressly for this purpose.

The work was acquired by the ninth Duke of Osuna in 1799. In this collection it appeared under the title of Winter. It went on sale in 1896, at the time of the bankruptcy of the ducal household, by order of the executive bondholder board, and it was bought for the Demotte collection in Paris for the sum of 2,000 pesetas.

In the years that followed, it was in the collections of Desparmet, Cerbera, E. A. Silbermann of New York and Everett D. Graff of Chicago before arriving at its current home. In 1990 it was left to the Art Institute de Chicago.

Análisis artístico

According to Arnaiz, of all the sketches that compose this series of works on the four seasons, this is the one with the loosest and most abbreviated execution. Goya's interest in representing the snowstorm is evident and he does so through the use of glazes which were later to disappear for the finished tapestry cartoon, where the cold and wind are instead evoked through the sensations and postures of the figures.

The sketch shows three figures covering themselves with a single blanket whilst they drearily trudge along the path. Tied around the waist of one of the figures we can see some small bags of money - so small as to apparently not have held enough coin to buy provisions ahead of the oncoming harsh winter. About to collide with them we see another figure, almost certainly a servant returning to his lord's home, with another companion who pulls along a mule laden with a dead pig. In the background is the silhouette of a house, probably belonging to the village that the walkers have just left. The differences between these two social groups are evident.

In the finished cartoon some details change: there are no houses in the background and the space between the two groups is enlarged, making the landscape appear much vaster and more desolate.

Gudiol is of the opinion that this is a sketch made from life and that the differences carried over into the cartoon were the result of Goya realizing that he would need a wider perspective in order to obtain a panoramic view and that the grey sky would need to contrast more strongly against the white snow.

  • Exposición y venta de los cuadros, esculturas, grabados y otros objetos artísticos de la Casa Duca
    Palacio de la Industria y de las Artes
  • The art of Goya. Paintings, drawings and prints
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    from January 30th to March 2nd 1941
  • Goya
    Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis
    The Hauge
    organized by Ministerio de Estado y Asuntos Culturales and Réunion des Musées Nationaux, July 4th to September 13th 1970. Exhibited also at the Musée de l’Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, October 25th to December 7th 1970, consultant editors Jeannine Baticle and A. B. de Vries
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareau
  • Goya: Order and disorder
    Museum of Fine Arts
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 193, cat. 153
  • SAMBRICIO, Valentín de
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 141, 252, cat. 43ª y lám. 156
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 79, 97, cat. 259
  • vol. I, p. 268, cat. 220
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 102, cat. 200
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. II, p. 43
  • ARNAIZ, José Manuel
    Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    col. col. "Espasa Arte"
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 144, 178, 180, 182, cat. 47B y p. 18
  • MENA, Manuela B. y WILSON-BAREAU, Juliet (comisarias)
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    p. 166, cat. 22 y p. 167 (il.)
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B. y MAURER, Gudrun (comisarias)
    Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 283
  • ILCHMAN, Frederick y STEPANEK, Stephanie L. (comisarios)
    Goya: Order & Disorder
    BostonMuseum of Fine Arts Boston Publications
    pp. 208-209
Enlaces externos
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