Francisco de Goya

Manuela Girón y Pimentel, Duchess of Abrantes (Manuela Girón y Pimentel, duquesa de Abrantes)

Manuela Girón y Pimentel, Duchess of Abrantes (Manuela Girón y Pimentel, duquesa de Abrantes)
Datos Generales
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
92 x 70 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
12 Apr 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

D.ña Manuela Giron y Pimentel / de Abrantes. // P.r Goya. 1816 ("Doña Manuela Girón y Pimentel, Duchess of Abrantes. By Goya. 1816", on the musical score in the sitter's hand).


This portrait was commissioned by the subject's mother as a gift to her daughter. Goya was paid 4,000 reales for his work.

The painting was in the collection of the Duke of Abrantes, later entering that of the Count of La Quinta de la Enjarada, then that of the Count of El Valle de Orizaba, and later passing to his descendants. In 1996 it was acquired using funds from the Villaescusa bequest, to be displayed in the Prado Museum.

Análisis artístico

Manuela Isidra Téllez Girón y Alonso Pimentel (Madrid, 1794-1838) was the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Osuna. Goya maintained a close relationship with the Osuna family and had painted them previously, all together in the 1788 work The Family of the Duke of Osuna as well as in other, individual portraits, such as The Marchioness of Santa Cruz and The Tenth Duke of Osuna, both works depicting siblings of the woman in this portrait. In 1813 she married Ángel María de Carvajal, VIII Duke of Abrantes.

The half-length portrait shows the Duchess of Abrantes in front of a plain dark background, dressed in the French style that had established itself after the return of Ferdinand VII to Spain. The blue dress is covered with a yellow shawl. She wears matching necklace, bracelet and earrings, all made from crystal beads, and a floral diadem around her curly hair, with her shoulders left uncovered. Her rosy face presents a pair of carmine lips. She is looking shyly out at the viewer. In her right hand the sitter holds a sheet of music - which Goya has used to insert his signature - alluding to her fondness for singing. It was also fairly common back then to paint women with references to music.

The portrait has a neoclassical appearance - ordered and serene. It is in the details that Goya's mastery shows through, such as the treatment of the jewels, the flowers in the sitter's hair, and even the musical notes on the paper. The execution is freer in the clothing and in the lace around the neckline. The bolder colour palette used in this work is particularly interesting, with its golden shawl, blue dress and green and white flowers. This is one of the last aristocratic portraits that Goya made before dedicating himself to painting his friends and close acquaintances in a series of paintings with darker tones and very straightforward compositions.

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Enlaces externos
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