Francisco de Goya

The Arrest of Christ (El prendimiento)

Clasificación
The Arrest of Christ (El prendimiento)
Datos Generales
Cronología
1798
Ubicación
Toledo Cathedral, Toledo, Spain
Dimensiones
300 x 200 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Titular
Chapter of the metropolitan cathedral of Toledo
Ficha: realización/revisión
26 Jan 2011 / 22 Nov 2011
Historia

In around 1788 Goya received the commission for this painting from the Bishop of Toledo, as we know from the letter he wrote to his friend Martín Zapater on 2 June 1788. In the letter, he says that he had not even had time to produce a sketch for this work, although he goes into no further details. It seems that the commission he refers to was the Arrest of Christ (there are no details of any other work that Goya could have carried out for this cathedral) and that it was delayed for some years, a fact confirmed when Sánchez Cantón published the minutes of a meeting held at the San Fernando Academy on 6 January 1799, in which it is recorded that Goya presented the commission there. Two days later it was hung in the sacristy of Toledo Cathedral, where it has remained ever since.

Análisis artístico

Goya knew that the work was going to be lit by the candles which stood on the altar below the painting, as well as those which stood on the altar of the El Greco painting The Disrobing of Christ which dominates the sacristy of Toledo Cathedral. Aware that the upper part of the canvas would be obscured by the gloom of the sacristy, illuminated only by a small window and the candles, he placed the focal point of the action in the lower part of the canvas. The scene is constructed around the crowd of people and, above all, the heads which surround Christ. He is placed in the centre of the canvas, directly lit up by the lamp held by someone positioned behind Judas, who has the light behind him. The Messiah's robe attracts the eye, contrasting with the soldiers' clothing.

The grouping of the figures echoes that of The Disrobing of Christ, as if Goya wished to compete with the other artist. The play of light is reminiscent of Rembrandt. Above all, in this work we find elements which Goya would return to in later years, such as the lantern, here an omen of death, which inevitably reminds us of the lanterns of his Third of May (rec. no.?), or the deformed, unpleasant grimaces of those who surround the pained face of Christ, as if they themselves were a crown of thorns, and a clear predecessor of the Black Paintings. The contrast between bad and good characters is a sign of Goya's Romanticism, which he would employ on other occasions.

The Arrest is a dramatic work, very Goyaesque in nature, with those sketched touches which maintain the tension of the subject. Without a doubt, this is one of the most representative religious works of Goya's oeuvre, even of his work as a whole.

Exposiciones
  • 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
    Madrid
    1961
    consultant editor Valentín de Sambricio
  • Goya
    Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis
    The Hauge
    1970
    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
  • El arte de Goya
    Museo de Arte Occidental de Tokio
    Tokyo
    1971
    from 16th 1971 to January 23th 1972. Exhibited also at the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, January 29th to March 15th 1972.
  • Pabellón de la Santa Sede
    Exposición Universal de Sevilla
    Seville
    1992
  • Goya
    Nationalmuseum
    Stockholm
    1994
    consultant editors Juan J. Luna and Görel Cavalli-Björkman. From October 7th 1994 to January 8th 1995
  • Goya en las colecciones españolas
    Sala de Exposiciones del BBVA
    Madrid
    1995
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From December 14th 1995 to February 17th 1996
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    2008
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
Bibliografía
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    p. 125, cat. 80
    1928-1950
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    pp. 165, 194, cat. 736
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 304, cat. 398
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 113, cat. 363
    1974
    Rizzoli
  • Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    José Camón Aznar
    vol. II, p. 66 y p. 175 (il.)
    1980-1982
    Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
  • Cartas a Martín Zapater
    Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes
    p. 278, nº 106
    2003
    edición de Mercedes Águila Villar y Xavier de Salas, Istmo
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Manuela B. (comisaria) Mena Marqués
    pp. 164-165, cat. 18 y p. 167 (il.)
    2008
    Museo Nacional del Prado
Enlaces externos
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