Francisco de Goya

Interior of a Prison (Interior de prisión)

Interior of a Prison (Interior de prisión)
Datos Generales
Ca. 1808 - 1812
Marquis of La Romana Collection, Madrid, Spain
40 x 32 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Marquis of La Romana Collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
11 May 2010 / 22 Nov 2022

The complete series of eleven paintings was acquired from Goya by the Majorcan collector Juan de Salas, father of Dionisia Salas y Boxadors, who was married to Pedro Caro y Sureda (Palma de Mallorca, 1761-Cartaxo, Portugal, 1811), III Marquis of La Romana.

The painting was inherited by its current owners.

Análisis artístico

This canvas continues the narrative which began in The Monk's Visit. María Vicenta Mendieta, after being put on trial for the murder of her husband, was jailed and later executed. Nobody was moved by her mother pleading for a more lenient sentence since the killer was a woman. The prison in which María Vicenta Mendieta was held was used for those criminals found guilty of the most atrocious of crimes. In these places the prisoners were kept completely cut off from the outside world, in rooms full of bugs and without even a bed to sleep on.

Here we see the woman sitting, accompanied by her maids. She is looking down at the floor, her face clearly betraying her worry. The only flicker of light in the room comes from the little lantern hanging from the ceiling, which is scarcely able to illuminate the scene. This darkness and the fragility of the light could allude to the all but hopeless situation of the condemned woman.

This work has been related to Caprice no. 32, Because she was susceptible, which features a lone woman sitting on the floor of a prison cell, her head tilted to the side, her only company a rat. There also exists a preparatory drawing for this etching, with the same title as the final print (Prado Museum, Madrid).



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    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 April to May 1928
  • 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
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    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    p. 238, cat. 207
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 263, cat. 915
  • vol. I, pp. 294 y 295, cat. 352
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 122, cat. 492
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. III, p. 191
  • MENA, Manuela B. y WILSON-BAREAU, Juliet (comisarias)
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 272, 273, 274, 275 (il.) y 276, cat.
Enlaces externos
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