Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
Cronología
1778 - 1780
Ubicación
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dimensiones
258 x 218 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Titular
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
22 Nov 2009 / 17 Jul 2015
Inventario
18 (P00779)
Historia

This work forms part of the series of seven cartoons on the theme of the fair for tapestries designed to decorate the bedroom of the Prince and Princess of Asturias in the palace of El Pardo.

On 2 October 1777, Goya was sent two lists with the dimensions of the tapestries that were to decorate the royal chambers. The first contained seven pieces for the bedroom itself and the second listed thirteen to be hung in the antechamber.

On 6 January 1779, Goya delivered an invoice to the Royal Tapestry Factory for six new cartoons: The Fair at Madrid, The Pottery Vendor, The Soldier and the Lady, The Haw Seller, Boys Playing at Soldiers and Children with a Cart. A seventh cartoon, that of The Blind Guitarist, the tapestry of which was also to form part of the decorative scheme of the bedroom but which ended up being displayed in the antechamber to the bedroom, was delivered to the factory on 27 April 1778. We must assume that the six aforementioned cartoons were made during the period between the two deliveries of 27 April 1778 and 6 January 1779. A letter from Goya to his friend Martín Zapater dated 9 January mentions "four paintings" that were particularly well received by Charles III and the Prince and Princess of Asturias. The letter does not specify which ones they were but, given that the delivery was made just three days before Goya wrote this letter, it is very likely that he was referring to some of the works in this series. It is no surprise that the paintings pleased their Majesties, since the theme of Spanish types was a favourite among the ilustrados.

Around 1856 or 1857, the cartoon was moved from the Royal Tapestry Factory of Santa Bárbara to the Royal Palace in Madrid. In 1870, it was taken to the Prado Museum under orders given on 18 January and 9 February.

Análisis artístico

The tapestry of The Fair at Madrid would have hung on the east wall of the royal bedroom, opposite that of The Pottery Vendor.

It is one of Goya's most acclaimed cartoons. It depicts a scene in which a nobleman and woman are entering the fair and are looking at the stand of an antiques dealer. They are accompanied by a connoisseur, who is peering attentively up at the paintings through his spectacles. The iridescent highlights on the gentleman's clothes and the fine detail on the lady's shawl are very worthy of attention, along with the skilfully rendered metals in the still life that is spread out in the foreground. All of these effects would have been difficult to transfer to the tapestry. In contrast to the strong light falling on the elegant couple, the antiques dealer is deftly painted against the light.

In the background, subtly standing out against the afternoon sky, is the outline of the dome of the church of San Francisco el Grande. This landmark, which appears again and again in the works of Goya, was newly built at the time, having been finished only shortly before 1777.

The scene is set on the traditional site of the city's annual fair, where the Rastro flea market is held today, in Madrid's Ribera de Curtidores and Plaza de la Cebada.

Conservación

The reddish preparation that Goya applied, sometimes covered with a thin glaze, has caused the work to darken over the years. Its colours now appear flat and lack the tonal range that they would have had originally.

Exposiciones
  • Les chefs-d’œuvre du Musée du Prado
    Musée d’Art et d’Histoire
    Geneva
    1939
    consultant editors Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor y Pedro Muguruza Otaño. From June to September 1939
  • Goya
    Palacio de Pedralbes
    Barcelona
    1977
    from April 12th to June 30th 1977
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Permanencia de la memoria, cartones para tapiz y dibujos de Goya
    Museo de Zaragoza
    Zaragoza
    1997
    organized by Gobierno de Aragón, Museo Nacional del Prado and Patrimonio Nacional, consultant editor Fernando Checa Cremades. From February 14th to April 6th 1997
  • Goya luces y sombras
    CaixaForum
    Barcelona
    2012
    consultant editors José Manuel Matilla and Manuela B. Marqués. From March 16th to June 24th 2012
Bibliografía
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    Xavier Desparmet Fitz-Gerald
    vol. I, p. 71, cat. 12
    1928-1950
  • Tapices de Goya
    Valentín de Sambricio
    pp. 103, 110, 220, cat. 21 y láms. 95-97
    1946
    Patrimonio Nacional
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    pp. 76, 88, cat. 124
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 247, cat. 74
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    Rita de Angelis
    p. 95, cat. 81
    1974
    Rizzoli
  • Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    José Camón Aznar
    vol. I, p. 97 y p. 145 (il.)
    1980-1982
    Caja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
  • Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    José Manuel Arnáiz
    pp. 93, 95, 264, cat. 25C y p. 95 (il.)
    1987
    Espasa Calpe
    Col. Espasa Arte
  • Francisco de Goya. Los cartones para tapices y los comienzos de su carrera en la corte de Madrid
    Janis A. Tomlinson
    pp. 103, 104 y p. 100 (il.)
    1987
    Cátedra
    Col. Ensayos de Arte Cátedra
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Juan J. (comisario) Luna
    pp. 298-300, cat. 18 y p. 90 (il.)
    1996
    Museo del Prado
  • Salas del Palacio Real de El Pardo para las que se tejieron tapices sobre cartones de Francisco de Goya: identificación de las habitaciones y ajuste de las obras de Goya en los alzados de las paredes
    in HERRERO CARRETERO, Concha (curator, Tapices y cartones de Goya (catalogue of the exhibition organizated at the Palacio Real de Madrid, from may to june 1996)
    José Luis Sancho
    p. 170 (il.)
    1996
    Patrimonio Nacional, Goya 96, Lunwerg
  • Cartas a Martín Zapater
    Francisco de Goya Y Lucientes
    p. 72, nº 8
    2003
    edición de Mercedes Águila Villar y Xavier de Salas, Istmo
  • Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    p. 142
    2014
    Museo Nacional del Prado
Enlaces externos
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