- Ca. 1794 - 1795
- Lost work
- 55.2 x 44.5 cm
- Técnica y soporte
- Oil on canvas
- Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
- Undisputed work
- Obra desaparecida
- Ficha: realización/revisión
- 21 Feb 2010 / 14 Apr 2021
This work may correspond to one of the paintings that appears in the inventory of 1812, carried out following the death of Josefa Bayeu at Goya's house in Calle Valverde, Madrid. Inherited by Javier Goya, it was later in the collection of the Marquis of Guirior (Málaga). It then belonged to Arnold Seligman (Paris & New York), and in 1937 entered the Wildenstein collection (New York). In 1967 it was acquired by the Meadows Museum in Dallas (United States). It was sold at auction at Sotheby's in London in 2009.
Although there exist no documents regarding the commissioning of this work, Goya alludes to it in a letter written to his friend Martín Zapater in 1795: "You had better come to help me paint the [Duchess] of Alba, who barged into the studio to have her face painted by me, and she got her way; I certainly prefer this to painting on canvas, and I will also have to paint her full-length, which I will do as soon as I have finished a sketch that I am making of the Duke of La Alcudia on horseback...". In the painting, probably a study or sketch, Godoy is shown, in the mould of Velázquez, mounted on a horse which is in the levade position, lifting its forelegs off the ground, in sharp profile and with a serious and determined look upon his face. The royal favourite is wearing the uniform of Captain General of the Royal Guard, a rank he achieved in May 1793, and is showing off the sash of the Order of Charles III, which he was awarded in 1791.
There exists a painting of similar dimensions entitled A Picador and dated Ca. 1791-1792, x-rays of which have revealed that underneath the visible painting there is another equestrian portrait of Manuel Godoy. The overpainting, made around 1808, would coincide with Godoy's fall from grace.
Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturasMuseo Nacional del PradoMadrid1993from 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-Bareaucat. 61
Vie et ouvre de Francisco de GoyaParísOffice du livre1970p. 289, cat. 344
vol. I, p. 289, cat. 332
Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturasMadridMuseo del Prado1993pp. 251, 252, 253 (il.), 254 y 255 (il.)