Francisco de Goya

A Stickball Game (El juego de la pelota a pala) (supposed sketch)

A Stickball Game (El juego de la pelota a pala) (supposed sketch)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1779
Private collection
52 x 86 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Attributed work
Private collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
25 Nov 2009 / 22 Nov 2011

Supposed sketch for the tapestry cartoon A Stickball Game.

Thanks to Mayer, we know that in 1899 this sketch belonged to a private collection in Paris. Today it is in another private collection.

Análisis artístico

Opinions differ regarding the authorship of this work. Some scholars, including Valerian von Loga, Arnaiz, Mayer (who discovered the piece) and Gudiol, consider it to be Goya's own work, whilst others, such as Wilson and Gassier, have expressed doubts. The reasoning of these latter scholars is that the sketch is practically identical to the finished work, whilst the sketches of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna, unanimously recognized as works from Goya's own hand, show multiple changes when compared to the final work. The study that Arnaiz carried out on this work confirms its age, visible in the canvas and the craquelure of the paint, although he himself agrees that it the finished cartoon would perhaps be an excessively faithful reflection of this sketch.


The work shows some colour variation in the lower section, almost certainly due to the existence of an underlying painting that can be clearly seen in the upper section.

  • Francisco de Goya
    Augusto L. Mayer
    p. 216, cat. 573
  • Tapices de Goya
    Valentín de Sambricio
    p. 230, cat. 27ª
    Patrimonio Nacional
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    p. 89, ca. 145
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 248, cat. 81
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 137, cat. 711
  • Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    José Camón Aznar
    vol. I, p. 110
    Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
  • Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    José Manuel Arnáiz
    pp. 102, 192, 199, 271, cat. 31B and p.
    Espasa Calpe
    Col. Espasa Arte
  • Francisco de Goya. Los cartones para tapices y los comienzos de su carrera en la corte de Madrid
    Janis A. Tomlinson
    Col. Ensayos de Arte Cátedra
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Juan J. (comisario) Luna
    p. 305
    Museo del Prado
Enlaces externos
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