Francisco de Goya

Transition of Saint Joseph (El tránsito de San José)

Clasificación
Transition of Saint Joseph (El tránsito de San José)
Datos Generales
Cronología
1787
Ubicación
Royal Monastery of San Joaquín and Santa Ana, Valladolid, Spain
Dimensiones
220 x 152 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Titular
Cistercian congregation of Saint Bernard
Ficha: realización/revisión
18 Jan 2010 / 22 Nov 2011
Historia

The church of the monastery of Cistercian nuns in Valladolid was renovated in neoclassical style by Francisco Sabatini between 1781 and 1787. The same architect suggested to Charles III that Goya and Ramón Bayeu should be commissioned to paint the six altar paintings for the lateral chapels. Goya executed the three situated on the Epistle side, depicting the themes Transition of Saint Joseph, Saint Bernard and Saint Lutgardis. Ramón Bayeu was responsible for the four paintings for the three altars on the Evangelist side of the church, dedicated to The Virgin with Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Anthony of Padua, Saint Benedict and Saint Scholastica.

The consecration of the church took place on 1 October 1787, at which point the paintings would have already been finished, doubtless later than planned, since the initial end date for the work was the Feast Day of Saint Anne, on 26 July.

This commission saw the rivalry continue between Goya and his brothers-in-law, who had already had a "confrontation" over the work for the Basilica of San Francisco el Grande in Madrid, following the conflict in Zaragoza over the cupola of the Basilica del Pilar. Ramón Bayeu also understood the situation as such because he could not forgive Goya's professional success. Moreover, he had been left out of the previous commission, and he therefore put a great deal of effort into his works.

Análisis artístico

As in the case of the Christ on the Cross in the San Fernando Academy, now in the Prado Museum, this set of works is steeped in controversy. Many of the artist's critics decried the lack of religious feeling, the vulgarity and lack of vitality of religious works that they felt were executed without feeling, as a craftsman and not as an artist. Camón Aznar did believe Goya's talent to shine through in these works, praising the chromatic shading, chiaroscuro, the grandiosity of the figures, which he described as natural, and the idea of religious feeling which Goya has during this phase, reminiscent of the art of Mengs's circle and the Italian school. Sánchez Cantón insists that this set of works mark Goya's maturing as a religious painter.

In this image, we see Mary and Jesus accompanied by the lifeless body of Joseph, who died at the age of 111, according to traditional accounts. Mary gazes at her son with a pained expression, while Jesus extends his arms in a gesture of prayer, asking God to take Joseph to his side.

The Transition of Saint Joseph is characterized by strong contrasts of light and shade. A divine ray of light illuminates the scene from the top left-hand corner, as if it came from a lantern hung in the church itself, bathing the body of Joseph in light while leaving other areas of the composition in gloom, giving an austere feel to the work. The other highlighted areas in the scene are the halos above the heads of Jesus and Mary.

As in the Annunciation, the faces in this painting have classicist features and the figures are monumental, once again shown from a low viewpoint. In terms of the colours used, the blue of the Virgin's mantle, the yellows of Joseph's dress, the grey of Jesus' tunic and the white of the sheet contrast with each other in a subtle harmony reminiscent of grisaille work, contributing to the sadness of the scene. The folds of their clothing fall naturally. Thanks to Sambricio, we know that among the materials received by Goya to carry out the work (oils, pigments, and so on) there were "twenty-three varas of holandilla linen in Blue and Crimson to make a mantle and a tunic" and the services of a seamstress, which suggests that Goya probably studied mannequins for this work, as it is supposed that he did for his large-format paintings.

The set of works as a whole gives off a sober feel, integrating perfectly with the architectural surroundings.

The geometric composition is also sober and of an "architectural style", as Goya himself commented, here expressed by the vertical line of Christ's posture, the diagonal represented by Mary, and the horizontal line of Joseph's body. The forms are given a very plastic feel by the ordered hanging of the fabrics and their monumentality, their sculptural treatment.

Since Goya's father had died shortly before this painting was produced, it has been posited that this work was intended as an idealized portrait of the artist as the Redeemer with his parents, whose physical appearance is not known to us. Although the composition could be said to be cold and solemn, the emotions expressed by the figures denote a personal interest in the subject which adds to the sadness of the scene.

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
    Musée Jacquemart-André
    Paris
    1961
    consultant editor Jean-Gabriel Domergue. From December 1961 to February 1962
  • Goya y el espíritu de la Ilustración
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1988
    from October 6th to December 18th 1988. Exhibited also at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, January 18th to March 26th 1989; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nueva York, May 9th to July 16th 1989, Madrid curator Manuela B. Mena Marqués, scientific directors Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez and Eleanor A. Sayre
  • Goya (1746 – 1828)
    Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna di Ca’Pesaro
    Venecia
    1989
    consultant editor Antonio Fortún Paesa. From May 7th to July 4th 1989
  • Goya
    La Lonja, Torreón Fortea y Museo Pablo Gargallo
    Zaragoza
    1992
    consultant editor Julián Gállego
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
Bibliografía
  • El Real monasterio de San Joaquín y Santa Ana de Valladolid
    Boletín de la Comisión de Monumentos Históricos y Artísticos de la provincia de Valladolid
    Mariano Alcocer Y Martínez
    núm. 3
    1926
    Imprenta de la Casa Social Católica
  • Tapices de Goya
    Valentín de Sambricio
    p. LXXXII, nº 109
    1946
    Patrimonio Nacional
  • Goya pintor religioso. (Precedentes italianos y franceses)
    Revista de Ideas Estéticas
    Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón
    pp. 291-293
    IV, 15-16
    1946
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    vol. I, p. 123, cat. 77
    1928-1950
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    pp. 56, 79, 95, cat. 236 y p. 56 (il.)
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    p. 273, cat. 246
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 102, cat. 214
    1974
    Rizzoli
  • Diplomatario
    Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes
    p. 284, nº 133
    1981
    Institución Fernando el Católico (edición de Ángel Canellas López)
  • Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    José Camón Aznar
    p. 284, nº 133
    1980-1982
    Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
  • Goya
    Julián Gállego
    p. 60, cat. 16 y p. 61 (il.)
    1992
    Electa
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Juan J. (comisario) Luna
    p. 350, cat. 70 y p. 153 (il.)
    1996
    Museo del Prado
  • Cartas a Martín Zapater
    Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes
    p. 262-263, nº 97
    2003
    edición de Mercedes Águila Villar y Xavier de Salas, Istmo
Enlaces externos
Volver
Usamos cookies propias y de terceros para mejorar su navegación. Si continua navegando consideramos que acepta el uso de cookies.