Francisco de Goya

Las Meninas

Las Meninas
Datos Generales
Ca. 1778 - 1785
405 x 325 mm
Técnica y soporte
Etching, aquatint, drypoint, burin and roulette. Printed in black ink on paper
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Ficha: realización/revisión
14 Nov 2010 / 29 Aug 2016

This etching was never published or sold, which is why the proofs which we have from it show no inscriptions on the metal plate.


See Philip III.

In the application of the aquatint and the burnishing, the plate (the whereabouts of which are unknown) of this print, the most complicated in the entire series, was spoiled. This is why only a few copies (including at least four state proofs) of it exist, located in the National Museum in Madrid, the Print Archive of the Berlin Museum, the British Museum, London, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Another copy, printed on both sides in black and red inks, belongs to a private collection in Madrid. Written, by the then owner, on a state proof which belonged to Juan A. Ceán Bermúdez, we see the following: Luca Giordano, when he admired this painting, said to Charles II that it represented the theology of painting [whereas] (I could tell by looking at him) Mengs would become ill-tempered, saying that he was a coward.

Análisis artístico

The print represents Velázquez's famous work without variations and, despite the difficulties that Goya had in differentiating the ceiling from the walls, he has managed to transmit the necessary sense of depth and to depict all of those elements which appear vague and unclear in the background of the painting. Perhaps the least successful figure is that of Velázquez himself, who practically disappears into the background.

The copy (a second-state proof) in the National Library, which came from the Valentín Carderera bequest of 1880, appears to have been retouched with some smudged black pencil.

  • Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painting
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    New York
    from March 4th to June 8th 2003
  • Goya: Order and disorder
    Museum of Fine Arts
  • Goya, grabador
    Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    cat. 6
    Blass S.A.
  • Goya engravings and lithographs, vol. I y II.
    Tomás Harris
    cat. 17
    Bruno Cassirer
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    cat. 107
    Office du livre
  • Goya's prints: the Tomás Harris Collection in the British Museum
    Juliet Wilson-Bareau
    pp. 13-22
    British Museum Press
  • Catálogo de las estampas de Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Elena M. (Coordinadora) Santiago
    cat. 60
    Ministerio de Educación y Cultura, Biblioteca Nacional
  • Ydioma universal: Goya en la Biblioteca Nacional
    Juliet Wilson-Bareau and Elena M. Santiago
    93, p. 129
    Biblioteca Nacional, Sociedad Estatal Goya 96 y Lunwerg
Enlaces externos
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