Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
Ca. 1778 - 1780
The Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, USA
145.4 x 94 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
The Toledo Museum of Art
Ficha: realización/revisión
24 Nov 2009 / 25 Aug 2022

See The Fair at Madrid.

In 1870, the tapestry cartoons that had been stored in the basements of the Palacio de Oriente in Madrid were transferred to the Prado Museum, known back then as the Royal Painting and Sculpture Museum. It was at that point that six cartoons by Goya were discovered to be missing: Children with a Cart, The Doctor, Majo with Guitar, Chicken Fights, The See-Saw and Dogs on the Leash. Others also went missing but their disappearance was not noticed because they were at the time attributed to other, les0s important artists. Such is the case of Boys Hunting with Owl, back then attributed to Ramón Bayeu. The Gaceta de Madrid newspaper published the news of the robberies on 19 January that same year, asking for the general public's help in recovering the missing works.

Before arriving at The Toledo Museum of Art, this cartoon was in the Wildenstein collection, in New York, and that of Philip Hofer, in Boston.

In November 2006, this same work was stolen when en route to New York to be shown in the exhibition Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History, at the Guggenheim. After the painting was found, it was returned to the Toledo Museum of Art on 11 January 2007, and it went back on display on 16 February 2007.

Análisis artístico

The tapestry resulting from this cartoon was made to be hung above a door, on the east wall, next to The Fair at Madrid and opposite its companion piece, Boys Playing at Soldiers.

Four children play in a cart, whilst two of them play musical instruments. One of the children is dressed in the Dutch style, as Goya himself points out in his description of the work.

Children are a recurrent theme in Goya's work, and this was not the first time that he used them in decorative overdoor pieces - he did the same in the dining room of the palace of El Pardo, where the children were used to counterbalance the adult figures. Here, the children's games, so loaded with fantasy, can, according to Tomlinson, be tied to the fleeting nature of childish revelry and the madness of the adult spectacle represented in the neighbouring scenes.


The reddish preparation that Goya applied, sometimes covered with a thin glaze, has caused the work to darken over the years. Its colours now appear flat and lack the tonal range that they would have had originally.

  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History
    Guggenheim Museum
    New York
    organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the State Corporation for Spanish Cultural Action Abroad. From November 17th 2006 to March 28th 2007
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 76, cat. 17
  • SAMBRICIO, Valentín de
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 111, 227, cat. 26 y lám. 110
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 76, 89, cat. 129
  • vol. I, pp. 247-248, cat. 80
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 95, cat. 86
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    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. I, p. 98
  • ARNAIZ, José Manuel
    Francisco de Goya, cartones y tapices
    col. col. "Espasa Arte"
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 60, 93, 101, 269, cat. 30C
  • TOMLINSON, Janis A.
    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. 118, 119 y p. 117 (il.)
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    p. 303-304, cat. 23 y p. 97 (il.)
  • SANCHO, José Luis
    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. 170 (il.)
  • GOYA Y LUCIENTES, Francisco de
    Cartas a Martín Zapater
    p. 72, nº 8
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B. y MAURER, Gudrun (comisarias)
    Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 211
Enlaces externos
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