- 1779 - 1780
- The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
- 262 x 137 cm
- Técnica y soporte
- Oil on canvas
- Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
- Documented work
- El Prado National Museum
- Ficha: realización/revisión
- 29 Nov 2009 / 25 Feb 2022
See The Blind Guitarist.
This cartoon was delivered to the Royal Tapestry Factory on 24 January 1780, along with ten other cartoons, completing the decoration of the antechamber to the bedroom. These eleven tapestry cartoons - almost certain to have been made between 21 July 1779, when the artist delivered A Stickball Game and The Swing, and this delivery in January 1780 - were executed very rapidly. It is very likely that Goya was aware of the planned suspension of manufacturing work at the factory and was anxious to finish his commissions and receive his wages.
Around 1856 or 1857, the cartoon was moved from the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara to the Royal Palace in Madrid. In 1870, it was taken to the Prado Museum under orders given on 18 January and 9 February.
The Tobacco Guards shared the room's south wall with The Young Bull.
Goya represents here the the guards who used to patrol the roads to prevent the smuggling of tobacco, back then the monopoly of the Crown, which shipped it over from Havana and processed it in the Tobacco Factory in Seville. This theme was normally tackled from the opposite point of view, glorifying the deeds of the smugglers. The fact that Goya chose to depict the defenders of the Crown in his cartoon is a reflection of his loyalty to the royal court. However, the appearance he gives to the tobacco guards is very similar to that of the smugglers or braggarts, and he thereby manages to transfer at least some of the attraction of these ruffians to the figures of the guards.
Sambricio considers this cartoon to be one of the most successful of the series, especially in terms of the background landscape, identified as the Guadarrama mountain range, where he sees the influence of Velázquez.
On the chest of the standing guard we can make out the inscription RENTA / D TAB, Renta del Tabaco, or Tobacco Revenue.
Goya. 250 AniversarioMuseo Nacional del PradoMadrid1996consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996cat. 28
Goya: Prophet der ModerneAlte NationalgalerieBerlin2005from July 13th to October 3th 2005. Exhibitied also at the Kunsthistorischemuseum, Vienna, October 18th 2005 to January 8th 2006, consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marquéscat. 5
Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794Museo Nacional del PradoMadrid2014p. 115
Tapices de GoyaMadridPatrimonio Nacional1946pp. 116, 237, cat. 33 y láms. 128, 129.
L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 volsParís1928-1950vol. I, p. 83, cat. 24
Vie et ouvre de Francisco de GoyaParísOffice du livre1970pp. 76, 89, cat. 136
vol. I, p. 249, cat. 91
L’opera pittorica completa di GoyaMilanRizzoli1974pp. 95-96, cat. 94
Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja1980-1982vol. I, p. 112
Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapicescol. Col. Espasa ArteEspasa Calpe1987pp. 108, 152, 278, cat. 37C y p. 109 (il
Francisco de Goya. Los cartones para tapices y los comienzos de su carrera en la corte de Madridcol. Col. Ensayos de Arte CátedraMadridCátedra1987pp. 143-144
Goya. 250 AniversarioMadridMuseo del Prado1996pp. 308-309, cat. 28 y p. 104 (il.)
Salas del Palacio Real de El Pardo para las que se tejieron tapices sobre cartones de Francisco de Goya: identificación de las habitaciones y ajuste de las obras de Goya en los alzados de las paredesin 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, Lunwerg1996p. 169 (il.)
Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado2014p. 115