Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
Ca. 1791
Mac-Crohon Collection, Madrid, Spain
34 x 21 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Mac-Crohon Collection
Ficha: realización/revisión
22 Dec 2009 / 19 Jan 2022

42 (bottom left corner, front)

X.13 (back)


Sketch for the tapestry cartoon Young Women with Pitchers.

It belonged to the collection of Francisco Acebal Arratia, probably via Javier and Mariano Goya. In 1928 it went to the collection of Luis and Paloma Mac-Crohon y Garay, in Madrid.

Análisis artístico

Standing next to a fountain, two girls each balance a pitcher on their heads whilst looking attentively towards someone outside the frame of the painting, aware of the desires they provoke, whilst a third girl crouches down with her back to the viewer to fill another pitcher. They are in a rural setting, with a low wall behind them, separating them from the fields in the background. The architectural detail in the fountain, crowned with a sphere like those found on the palace of El Escorial, is of particular interest.

We can appreciate some important differences between this sketch and the finished cartoon. Goya tried to lighten the composition by simplifying the fountain and putting more emphasis on the profile of the water carriers, who stand out sharply against the sky in the cartoon, especially the girl on the right-hand side, who also adopts a more sinuous posture due to the weight of the pitchers she is carrying. The woman shown here collecting water later appears standing next to the other two, and there is no child present in the sketch. As such, the figures of the girls do not appear as slim and the overall impression is much flatter, since the inclusion of the boy adds further depth to the cartoon.

The inscription on the back of the canvas was discovered by Juliet Wilson. It undoubtedly means that the painting had been awarded to Xavier Goya in the inventory carried out in 1812 following the death of Josefa Bayeu. This number usually corresponded to two works, The Water Carrier and The Knife Grinder, now in Budapest. This was due to the fact that Goya's heirs reused the numbers given to works once they had been sold.


Cleaned in 1993.

The bare red preparation is visible in a 7 mm strip around the edge of the canvas.

  • Goya: Prophet der Moderne
    Alte Nationalgalerie
    from July 13th to October 3th 2005. Exhibitied also at the Kunsthistorischemuseum, Vienna, October 18th 2005 to January 8th 2006, consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués
  • Goya. La imagen de la mujer
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from October 30th 2001 to February 10th 2002. Exhibitied also at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 10th to June 2nd 2002, consultant editor Francisco Calvo Serraller
  • Pinturas de Goya
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor. From Apri to -May 1928
  • Exposición de bocetos para pinturas y esculturas (Siglos XVI-XIX)
    Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from November 18th 1993 to February 15th 1994. Exhibited also at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, March 18th to June 12th 1994 and The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, July 16th to October 16th 1994, consultant editors Manuela B. Mena Marqués and Juliet Wilson-Bareau
  • Goya en las colecciones madrileñas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Enrique Lafuente Ferrari. From April 19th to June 20th 1983
  • Goya en las colecciones españolas
    Sala de Exposiciones del BBVA
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From December 14th 1995 to February 17th 1996
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. II, p. 298, cat. 38
  • SAMBRICIO, Valentín de
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    p. 272, cat. 57ª y lám. 182
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 99, 373, cat. 295
  • vol. I, p. 282, cat. 296
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 105, cat. 253
  • BOZAL, Valeriano
    Imagen de Goya
    p. 78, 90
  • ARNAIZ, José Manuel
    Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    col. col. "Espasa Arte"
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 195, 199, 313, cat. 63B y p. 196 (il
  • MENA, Manuela B. y WILSON-BAREAU, Juliet (comisarias)
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 184-185, 357, cat. 30 y p. 186 (il.)
Enlaces externos
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