Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
1786 - 1787
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, United States
127.2 x 112.1 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
The Art Institute of Chicago
Ficha: realización/revisión
14 Dec 2009 / 25 Aug 2022

This is one of the six overdoor pieces made to decorate the king's conversation room in the palace of El Pardo and which we know of thanks to the account left by the carpenter Josef Serrano, dated 17 November 1786. The others were Boys with Hunting Dogs, Hunter beside a Spring, Shepherd Playing a Dulzaina, Two Cats Fighting on a Wall and Birds in Flight.

From the Royal Tapestry Factory it entered the private collection of the director, Livinio Stuyck. In 1911 it was sold to the Knoedler & Co. collection, in New York. Later on it was the property of Charles Deering up until 1922, when it found its way into the Chauncey Brooks Mac-Cormick collection, Chicago. Mr and Mrs Brooks donated it to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979.

Análisis artístico

The tapestry would have hung on the west side of the room, flanking that of The Flower Girls and forming a pair with Boys with Hunting Dogs.

A boy of around ten years of age, elegantly dressed and clearly belonging to a wealthy family, rides on top of a ram whilst brandishing a branch as an improvised riding whip and advancing towards the viewer. The low viewpoint and the foreshortening, the result of the work having been designed to be viewed from below, bestow upon the figures a monumental quality. In the background, a brightly-lit landscape recalls the one which Goya would later use as the backdrop for several portraits, such as that of The Marchioness of Pontejos.

Some writers consider this cartoon, of which no sketch is known, to be a simple anecdotal representation of a boy at play. Goya's skill in portraying children, capturing their vitality and the candidness of their gaze, as well as the tenderness of their years, stands out here. This was not the first occasion that Goya painted children, and as such this virtuoso display should come as no surprise.

Tomlinson relates this cartoon to spring, due to the presence of the ram, Aries in the zodiac, the first sign of spring. She also sees a clear connection between this well-dressed boy, who resembles Manuel Osorio, and the lower nobility represented in other cartoons made for this same room. She believes that the combined representation of childhood and this unusual mount responds to the zodiacal traditions of the seasons and the ages of man.

  • Goya 1900
    Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas Artes
    consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900
  • Pinturas de Goya
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor. From Apri to -May 1928
  • A Century of Progress. Exhibition of Paintings and Sculptures
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    from June 1st to November 1st 1933
  • The art of Goya. Paintings, drawings and prints
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    from January 30th to March 2nd 1941
  • Obras maestras de la pintura española de los siglos XVI al XIX
    Museo Pushkin
    Exhibited also at the State Hermitage Museum, San Petersburgo
  • Goya
    consultant editors Juan J. Luna and Görel Cavalli-Björkman. From October 7th 1994 to January 8th 1995
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 104, cat. 45
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    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 141, 149, 257, cat. 46 y lám. 161
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    MadridEspasa Calpe
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  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
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    ParísOffice du livre
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  • vol. I, pp. 269-270, cat. 226
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    p. 102, cat. 206
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    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
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    col. col. "Ensayos de Arte Cátedra"
    pp. 221, 222 y p. 219 (il.)
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
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    MadridMuseo del Prado
    p. 322, cat. 42 y p. 123 (il.)
  • SANCHO, José Luis
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    in HERRERO CARRETERO, Concha (curator, Tapices y cartones de Goya (catalogue of the exhibition organizated at the Palacio Real de Madrid, from may to june 1996)
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional, Goya 96, Lunwerg
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    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 215
Enlaces externos
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