Francisco de Goya

Milkmaid of Bordeaux (La lechera de Burdeos)

Milkmaid of Bordeaux (La lechera de Burdeos)
Datos Generales
1825 - 1827
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
74 x 68 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
17 Jun 2010 / 29 Aug 2022

Goya (on the side).


This work was painted in Bordeaux. Leocadia Zorilla inherited it on Goya's death, and sold it to Juan Bautista de Muguiro, a good friend of Goya's in Bordeaux. The letter which Leocadia wrote to Muguiro on 9 December 1829 has survived, in which she offers him the painting for a sum no lower than an ounce of gold, as she had been instructed by Goya. The letter was published in its entirety by Sánchez Cantón in 1947.

It remained in the Muguiro family until the buyer's nephew, Fermín de Muguiro y Beruete, the Third Count of Muguiro and Alto Bacilés bequeathed it to the Prado Museum. It was entrusted to the museum on 5 December 1945.

Análisis artístico

The Milkmaid of Bordeaux is one of Goya's most acclaimed works. Painted in the last years of his life, it is striking for its cheerful colouring and bright lighting, which contrast with the dark monochromes which dominate the rest of the works from his final years. Some experts see in this work the most accomplished example of Goyaesque impressionism, above all in the execution of the shawl which covers the maid's shoulders.

The woman depicted in this genre painting, which may well be a portrait, has not been identified. She is seated, probably on a saddle on which she rode when she delivered the milk, as suggested by the low point of view. She is wearing a white cloth on her head which covers part of her brown hair, a shawl rendered in bluish tones and yellow and white flecks which crosses over her chest, and a black skirt. Her figure stands out against a greenish-blue sky with white touches. By her side we can make out a pitcher brimming with white milk. On the curve of the pitcher there is an inscribed signature which defends Goya's authorship, although Juliet Wilson has cast doubt on its authenticity. The expert thinks that the author of this work may have been Rosario Weiss, the daughter of Leocadia Zorrilla. We know that Rosario also painted, and that Goya held her and her artistic skills in high esteem, but in 1827 she was only thirteen, and it seems unlikely that such a young girl would be capable of creating such a magnificent work. Due to a lack of evidence to support the theory, most academics still support the attribution of this work to Goya.

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Enlaces externos
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