Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
1786 - 1787
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
267.5 x 190.5 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
08 Dec 2009 / 18 Jan 2022

See The Flower Girls.

Análisis artístico

The tapestry of The Grape Harvest would have hung on the south wall of the room, flanking a door with its pair, The Flower Girls, or Spring.

The scene shows some figures in the foreground who dominate the space and the anecdotal subject matter of the grape harvest: an elegant majo who is offering a bunch of grapes to a girl, a young boy with his back to the viewer, reaching up to grab them, and a peasant girl with a basket balanced on her head. Behind them, in the middle distance, appear the figures of more peasants working, and in the background we see a mountainous landscape, which could be the mountains around Madrid.

Bozal says of this cartoon's composition that it is "an authentic review of Goya's painting to date", referring to his genre paintings. The work keeps the pyramid arrangement that the artist began to use in cartoons such as The Drinker and The Parasol. In the case of The Grape Harvest, however, this, the neoclassical arrangement par excellence, breaks away from neoclassicism in the way that Goya combines it with a strongly contrasting distribution of the different planes.

In the centre of the composition we find the grapes, and, just as occurred with the flower in the cartoon of The Flower Girls, the grape here symbolizes this cartoon's season: autumn. Tomlinson offers a further interpretation of this fruit's appearance in the work. At times, the grape has been seen as a representation of the autumn of man, of maturity, and as such, the writer also sees in this painting the three ages of man. Grapes are also thought to symbolize fertility.

Ezquerra del Bayo supposed that the Duke and Duchess of Alba invited Goya and his wife and son to spend some days in their house at Piedrahita, and as such he identifies the aristocrats in the painting as the duke and duchess, the peasant girl as Josefa Bayeu and the boy as the artist's own child. Sambricio proved that this was not possible by citing a letter that Goya wrote to Martín Zapater around those dates, in which he speaks of being in Madrid. What's more, his name appears on several occasions as one of those present at the sessions of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando.

  • El arte europeo en la corte de España durante el siglo XVIII
    Galerie des Beaux-Arts
    Exhibitied also at Grand Palais, París y Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Goya e Italia
    Museo de Zaragoza
    organized by the Fundación Goya en Aragóna, consultant editor Joan Sureda Pons. From June 1st to September 15th 2008
  • Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    Museo Nacional del Prado
  • Joaquín Ezquerra Del Bayo
    La Duquesa de Alba y Goya. Estudio biográfico y artístico
    p. 159
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 92, cat. 33
  • Valentín de Sambricio
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 141, 143, 145, 251, cat. 42 y láms.
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 97, cat. 264
  • vol. I, pp. 268, 270, cat. 219
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 101, cat. 199
  • José Camón Aznar
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. II, p. 42
  • BOZAL, Valeriano
    Imagen de Goya
    pp. 72-73
  • José Manuel Arnáiz
    Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    col. Col. Espasa Arte
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 138, 147, 181, 288, cat. 46C y pp. 1
  • NORDSTRÖM, Folke
    Goya, Saturno y melancolía. Consideraciones sobre el arte de Goya
    pp. 55-62 y p. 59 (il.)
  • Janis A. Tomlinson
    Francisco de Goya. Los cartones para tapices y los comienzos de su carrera en la corte de Madrid
    col. Col. Ensayos de Arte Cátedra
    pp. 211-214 y p. 208 (il.)
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    p. 317, cat. 37 y pp. 116, 117 (ils.)
  • José Luis Sancho
    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)
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional, Goya 96, Lunwerg
    p. 164 (il.)
  • Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 267
Enlaces externos
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