Francisco de Goya

The Duchess of Alba and “the Sanctimonious” (La duquesa de Alba y “la Beata”)

The Duchess of Alba and “the Sanctimonious” (La duquesa de Alba y “la Beata”)
Datos Generales
Cronología
1795
Ubicación
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dimensiones
30.7 x 25.4 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Titular
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
21 Jun 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
Inventario
(P07020)
Inscripciones

Goya año 1795 ("Goya, 1795", incised in the lower right-hand corner).

Historia

Luis Berganza, son of Tomás Berganza, the Duchess of Alba's administrator and one of the inheritors in her will, became the new owner of this canvas and its companion piece, "The Sanctimonious" with Luis de Berganza and María de la Luz. The work remained the property of this family's descendants until it was sold at Sotheby's in 1985. It was bought by the Spanish state, which acquired the work, by right of first refusal, for the Prado Museum.

Análisis artístico

When Goya painted this canvas he was fifty years old, and had only recently recovered from the illness which left him deaf. During his convalescence from this illness, spent in Cádiz, Goya made a series of small-scale cabinet paintings. These afforded him an opportunity to express himself freely in an artistic arena outside that of official, academic painting. Once he had returned to Madrid, the artist carried on working along the same lines as in those highly personal paintings produced during his seclusion. This same freedom of expression can be appreciated in the portraits he painted during this period of members of Madrid's aristocracy, among which are this work and its companion piece, "The Sanctimonious" with Luis de Berganza and María de la Luz.

The close relationship between Goya and the Duchess of Alba, whom he painted on several occasions, meant that the artist enjoyed access to the private sections of the palace, located in Madrid's Calle del Barquillo. This oil painting, which was made when the duchess was thirty-three years old, captures the moment when she attempts to frighten her elderly maid, Rafaela Luisa Velázquez, with a small red object. The old woman wards her off with the crucifix she holds in her hand. The maid was known as "the Sanctimonious" ("la Beata") thanks to her piety and devotion to prayer, which also seem to have made her the target of many jokes at the palace. In this work, Goya achieves an unusual, intimate portrait of the Duchess of Alba which manages to capture something of her rather irreverent character.

In terms of its style and subject matter, this portrait can be considered a prelude to the so-called Sanlúcar Album, Album A, which Goya made in 1796 during his stay in Cádiz. The Duchess of Alba and "the Sanctimonious" anticipates some of the stylistic characteristics of those drawings, as well as the importance they give to the human figure and the total absence of any description of the surrounding space.

Exposiciones
  • De Greco á Picasso. Cinq siècles d’art espagnol
    Musée du Petit Palais
    París
    1987
    from October 10th 1987 to January 3th 1988
  • Goya
    La Lonja, Torreón Fortea y Museo Pablo Gargallo
    Zaragoza
    1992
    consultant editor Julián Gállego
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1993
    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
    Nationalmuseum
    Stockholm
    1994
    consultant editors Juan J. Luna and Görel Cavalli-Björkman. From October 7th 1994 to January 8th 1995
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Goya. La imagen de la mujer
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    2001
    from October 30th 2001 to February 10th 2002. Exhibitied also at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 10th to June 2nd 2002, consultant editor Francisco Calvo Serraller
  • Goya luces y sombras
    CaixaForum
    Barcelona
    2012
    consultant editors José Manuel Matilla and Manuela B. Marqués. From March 16th to June 24th 2012
Bibliografía
  • Joaquín Ezquerra Del Bayo
    La Duquesa de Alba y Goya. Estudio biográfico y artístico
    MadridBlass
    1928
    p. 190
  • Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    París
    1928-1950
    p. 216, cat. 180
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    1970
    p. 171, cat. 352
  • vol. I, p. 298 cat. 368
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    MilanRizzoli
    1974
    nº 284
  • José Camón Aznar
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    1980-1982
    vol. II, p. 123
  • Alfredo de Paz
    Goya. Arte e condizione umana
    NaplesLiguori editore
    1990
    il. 73
  • WILSON-BAREU, Juliet
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    1993
    pp. 260, 261 y 262 (il.)
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    1996
    pp. 177 (il.), 363 y 364
  • CALVO SERRALLER, Francisco (comisario)
    Goya, la imagen de la mujer
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado y Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado
    2001
    pp. 184 y 185 (il.), cat. 33
Enlaces externos
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