- Ca. 1772 - 1773
- Museo de Zaragoza, en depósito, Zaragoza, Spain
- 96,6 x 74,7 cm
- Técnica y soporte
- Oil on canvas
- Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
- Attributed work
- Private collection
- Ficha: realización/revisión
- 28 Jun 2021 / 16 Jan 2023
It´s possible that it was made for private devotional purposes or for a small oratory. Its origin is unknown until its presence in the 1960s in the stores of a capital of northern Spain, when it was bought by its owners as an anonymous work.
The group of the child Virgin accompanied by her parents is presented in a rounded form, with figures in voluminous cloaks, on an almost neutral background of golden tones, with the supernatural presence of the dove of the Holy Spirit projecting a beam of divine light in the upper area. Mary, slightly leaning towards her mother, listens attentively to her words, reminding us of the important educational role of St. Anne. On the other hand, St. Joachim, rigid, appears absorbed, as if aware of the transcendence of his daughter's future. The powerful modelling, the decisive fillings and the harmonious but calculatedly irregular composition are subjected to a dominant principle of simplicity that visually enhances the symbolic values. Among them, the blue and white colours typified for Mary's clothing, in a showy chromatic combination with those worn by her parents.
The attribution of this painting to Goya was made clear by its remarkable stylistic similarities with the mural painting of the Charterhouse of Aula Dei (Zaragoza), dominated in both cases by a rigorously classicist language and a chromatic delicacy of rococo linage that were consolidated in the artist´s production during the 1770s. The figure of St. Joachim is reminiscent of the bearded figures in Vesta's Sacrifice and Lot and his daughters but, more particularly, of St. Joachim depicted in the Nativity of the Virgin in Aula Dei. The face of the child Virgin, with its clean oval shape and peculiar shading of the eye sockets, also finds clear parallels with other female faces in Aula Dei. The X-radiography of the painting reveals the author's confidence and mastery of the technique, without prejudice to some amendments such as the reduction of the volume of Mary's cloak on the side that excessively covered Saint Anne's cloak.
Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775). Sus raíces aragonesasMuseo Goya. Colección IbercajaZaragoza201518
Goya y Zaragoza (1746-1775). Sus raíces aragonesasZaragozaFundación Goya en Aragón, Ibercaja y Gobierno de Aragón2015pp.142-143