Francisco de Goya

The Fates (Las Parcas)

Clasificación
The Fates (Las Parcas)
Datos Generales
Cronología
Ca. 1820 - 1823
Ubicación
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Dimensiones
123 x 266 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil painting on plaster transferred to canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Undisputed work
Titular
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
27 Oct 2010 / 31 Jul 2017
Inventario
399 (P00757)
Historia

See Leocadia.

Análisis artístico

This painting was located on the first floor of the house, on the left-hand wall. It is a large composition dominated by the main figures in a scene that seems to be taking place at night. The figures are superimposed on a primitive landscape. They represent the Fates, the Daughters of the Night who control the thread of human life. In this work they are shown floating on a cloud, accompanied by a man whose arms are held behind his back. Atropos can be identified as the figure on the right of the painting from the scissors she is holding: according to Arnaiz, she is making a rude gesture with her fingers which could be interpreted as the painter mocking death. Clotho, who is usually depicted spinning the thread of life, in this case holds a doll in her hands - perhaps as a sacrifice - which is attached to her right hand by a thread. In the background is Lachesis: she normally holds the thread of life, although here she is shown with an object in her hand which has been interpreted variously as a magnifying glass with which she examines the thread of life, a mirror symbolizing time and transience or a snake biting its tail, a symbol of eternity.

The lighting of the scene is striking, since it seems to be bathed in moonlight which picks out the objects carried by the Fates.

It has not been possible to find a global explanation for the scene; however, the identification of Atropos as the Fates by Brugada and Yriarte was very clear, and is the reason behind the title they gave to the painting. According to Bozal, the symbolic meaning of the Fates is altered by the changes Goya introduces in his representation, as well as by its relationship with the other Black Paintings.

Conservación

The figure of Atropos is the one that underwent the most changes due to the intervention of Martínez Cubells: based on x-ray analysis, it is believed that he overpainted a tear in the paint in the area of that figure.

Exposiciones
  • Pinturas Negras en la Exposición Universal de París
    Palacio del Trocadero
    Paris
    1878
    from may 20th to November 10th 1878
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    Madrid
    1996
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
Bibliografía
  • Goya, sa vie, son œuvre
    Charles Yriarte
    pp. 140-141
    1867
    Henri Plon
  • Goya, pintor de retratos, t. I
    Aureliano de Beruete Y Moret
    pp.122-127
    1916
    edición compendiada por Francisco Javier Sánchez Cantón: Madrid, Blass, 1928
  • Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    Juliet Wilson and Pierre Gassier
    pp. 327-329, cat. 1615
    1970
    Office du livre
  • Goya, 1746 – 1828. Biografía, estudio analítico y catálogo de sus pinturas, 4 vols.
    José Gudiol
    vol. I, p. 378, cat.708
    1970
    Polígrafa
  • Goya's Black Paintings: Truth and Reason in Light and Liberty
    Priscilla E. Muller
    p. 88-94
    1984
    Hispanic Society of America
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Juan J. (comisario) Luna
    p. 432
    1996
    Museo del Prado
  • Las pinturas negras de Goya, Alcobendas
    Valeriano Bozal
    p.87-88
    1997
    T.F. Editores
  • Las Pinturas Negras de Goya
    Paulina Junquera
    p. 82-83
    2003
    Scala Publishers Ltd.
Enlaces externos
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