Francisco de Goya

Man Looking for Fleas in his Shirt (Hombre buscando pulgas en su camisa)

Man Looking for Fleas in his Shirt (Hombre buscando pulgas en su camisa)
Datos Generales
1824 - 1825
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Boston, United States
6 x 5.9 cm
Técnica y soporte
Watercolor on ivory
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Ficha: realización/revisión
05 May 2010 / 29 Aug 2022
M. M. Karolik F

See Maja and Celestina.

This miniature belonged to Luis Portilla. He put it up for sale in Madrid, together with others that were in his possession, on 16 December 1880. It was later in several different collections: Warwick, Paris; Schidloff, Paris; that of Baron von Schlumberger, Vienna; Thomas Harris, London, around 1938; Vincent Price, Los Angeles, around 1956; Philip Hofer, Cambridge (MA) and, finally, the Boston collection of R. M. Light, from whom the Museum of Boston acquired it on 12 June 1974, through the funds of Mr And Mrs Karolik.

Análisis artístico

For the artistic and technical analysis of the complete series, see Maja and Celestina.

This miniature shows a bare-chested man holding up a shirt which he is carefully examining for fleas. The man's skin is coloured a pinkish hue, but, despite this, this is still an image of predominantly cold tones, dominated by the black of the background, the shirt and the bold outline of the man. Here we can see how Goya has used a technique similar to "sgraffito", using a sharpened object to scrape away the pigment from certain areas of the shirt, revealing the white ivory underneath and leaving irregular patches.

  • The art of Goya. Paintings, drawings and prints
    The Art Institute of Chicago
    from January 30th to March 2nd 1941
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareau
  • Goya’s last Works
    The Frick Art Collection
    New York
    consultant editors Jonathan Brown and Susan Grace Galassi. From February 22nd to May 14th 2006
  • SAYRE, Eleanor
    Goya’s Bordeaux miniatures, , , Boston, 1966
    Museum of Fine Arts Boston BulletinLXIV, 337
    p. 116, cat. 6
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 362, cat. 1679
  • vol. I, p. 386, cat. 750
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 136, cat. 669
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 219 y p. 335 (il.)
  • MENA, Manuela B. y WILSON-BAREAU, Juliet (comisarias)
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 324, 325, 380, cat. 104 y p. 326 (il
  • BROWN, Jonathan y GALASSI, Susan Grace
    Goya’s last works
    New YorkThe Frick Collection and Yale University Press
    p. 136, cat. 17 y p. 137 (il.)
Enlaces externos
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