Francisco de Goya

The Family of Charles IV (La familia de Carlos IV)

The Family of Charles IV (La familia de Carlos IV)
Datos Generales
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
280 x 336 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
03 Mar 2010 / 15 Sep 2022

This work came from the Royal Collection. In 1814 it was in the Royal Palace in Madrid and in 1824 it formed part of the collections of the Prado Museum, appearing in the museum's catalogue for the first time in 1872.

Análisis artístico

The painting, clearly conceived as a dynastic portrait, was made between Aranjuez, where Goya would have made the preparatory drawings, and Madrid, in the spring and summer of 1800, shortly after Goya was named First Court Painter (1799).

This large group portrait, set in a room decorated with other paintings and lit from the left-hand side, is presided over by King Charles IV (1748-1819) and Queen María Luisa de Parma (1751-1818), in the centre of the composition. Beside them are their children, the Infanta María Isabel (1789-1848) and the Infante Francisco de Paula (1794-1865). The group to the left of them features, in the front, the Prince of Asturias and future King Ferdinand VII (1784-1833), dressed in blue; behind him the Infante Carlos María Isidro (1788-1855), second in succession to the throne; the Infanta María Josefa (1744-1801), the king's sister; an unidentified young woman; and, in the shadows at the back, Goya, painting at a large canvas. In the group on the right is the Infante Antonio Pascual (1755-1817), the king's brother. Behind him are the Infanta Carlota Joaquina (1775-1830), Queen of Portugal and eldest daughter of the king and queen; the Prince and Princess of Parma: the Infanta María Luisa (1782-1824), holding her son the Infante Carlos Luis; and her husband, Luis de Bourbon (1799-1883), the future King of Etruria.

All of the men are wearing the sash of the Order of Charles III, and some of them are also wearing the medal of the Golden Fleece. The women are wearing Empire line dresses and bear the sash of the Order of María Luisa. Charles IV is also sporting the insignia of the Military Orders and of the Portuguese Order of Christ.

The formal and compositional references to Las Meninas are clear, demonstrating the admiration that Goya felt for Velázquez.

This was the first work by Goya to enter the Prado Museum. In 1834 it was valued at 80,000 reales.


Margarita Moreno tells us that the original canvas, formed by three pieces of cloth, has been relined. Scratches are visible on the surface, caused by the spreading of the reddish-coloured preparation. The craquelure in the paint has been reduced due to the relining. Those areas where paint had been lost have been retouched and these restored areas have changed over time. The varnish has yellowed, and there are stains and blanching due to surface dirt. Manuel Arpe restored the work in 1967

  • Les chefs-d’œuvre du Musée du Prado
    Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
    consultant editors Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor y Pedro Muguruza Otaño. From June to September 1939
  • Goya. La década de Los Caprichos
    organized by Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando sponsored by Fundación Central Hispano, Madrid, consultant editor Nigel Glendinnig. From October 26th 1992 to January 10th 1993
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
  • Goya: Order and disorder
    Museum of Fine Arts
  • SALAS, Xavier de
    La familia de Carlos IV
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 196, cat. 783
  • vol. I, p. 312, cat. 434
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. III, pp. 124-126
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 206, 207 (il.), 208 (det.), 383, 384
  • ILCHMAN, Frederick y STEPANEK, Stephanie L. (comisarios)
    Goya: Order & Disorder
    BostonMuseum of Fine Arts Boston Publications
    pp. 40-41
Ficha en SAAC

Los Sistemas Aumentativos y Alternativos de Comunicación (SAAC) son formas de expresión distintas al lenguaje hablado, que tienen como objetivo aumentar (aumentativos) y/o compensar (alternativos) las dificultades de comunicación y lenguaje de muchas personas con discapacidad. Más info: Arasaac

Enlaces externos
Usamos cookies propias y de terceros para mejorar su navegación. Si continua navegando consideramos que acepta el uso de cookies.