Francisco de Goya

Datos Generales
1777 - 1778
The Prado National Museum. Madrid, Madrid, Spain
116 x 124 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
El Prado National Museum
Ficha: realización/revisión
17 Nov 2009 / 25 Aug 2022

See The Kite.

Análisis artístico

The tapestry resulting from this cartoon was to hang over the north door of the dining room and formed a pair with that of Boys Picking Fruit.

As pointed out by Tomlinson, the scene may have been inspired by the print La vessie by Philippe Le Bas (Paris, National Library), based on the painting by David Teniers. The subject of children's games serves as a counterpoint to the main cartoons starring adults, The Kite and Card Players, and, continuing with the symbolism of vanitas, this work appears to aim to counteract the concerns of the grown-ups, the uselessness and futility of their science and their gambling, with the carefree play of children.

This is one of Goya's earliest representations of children, a topic which he would later become known for thanks to his ability to depict them with great realism, candour and tenderness, his skill already evident in the face of the boy waiting to tie the knot in the bladder.

Because of its pastel colours and the subject matter of games and the wind, Cruzada Villaamil saw a close relationship between this cartoon and that of The Kite. Just like the children have fun blowing up the bladder until it bursts, the adults delight in the flying of a kite, as ephemeral and passing as the wind.

Further away in the distance, on the left, we can see two women. The more visible of the two is the one sitting on the left-hand side, with her head resting on her hand in a gesture of melancholy. Tomlinson has interpreted this figure as a sibyl, confirming the fleeting nature of childish fun and the inevitable passage of time. Other writers, including Morales, are of the opinion that Goya was simply representing a traditional scene of children at play.

On the right there were initially two labourers wearing wide-brimmed hats to protect themselves from the sun. Although they appear in one of the tapestries, they have disappeared from the painting after being rather clumsily painted out. Weavers at the Royal Tapestry Factory were almost certainly responsible, wishing to make their job easier, since other tapestries exist in which these two figures do not appear.

  • Goya and his times
    The Royal Academy of Arts
    cat. 66
  • Goya
    Palacio de Pedralbes
    from April 12th to June 30th 1977
  • Panorama de la pintura española desde los Reyes Católicos a Goya
    Palacio del Concejo Deliberante
    Buenos Aires
    organized by Ministerio de Cultura de España
  • Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Alfonso E. Pérez Sánchez, November 1983 to January 1984
  • Goya
    La Lonja, Torreón Fortea y Museo Pablo Gargallo
    consultant editor Julián Gállego
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • Tapices y cartones de Goya
    Palacio Real
    organized by Patrimonio Nacional and Sociedad Estatal Goya 96 at the Palacio Real, Madrid, consultant editor Concha Herrero Carretero. May to June 1996
  • Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    vol. I, p. 68, cat. 9
  • SAMBRICIO, Valentín de
    Tapices de Goya
    MadridPatrimonio Nacional
    pp. 104, 215, cat. 18 y láms. 82-83
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 86, cat. 83
  • vol. I, p. 246, cat. 72
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    pp. 94, 95, cat. 78
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. I, p. 90 y p. 124 (il.)
  • ARNAIZ, José Manuel
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    col. col. "Espasa Arte"
    Espasa Calpe
    pp. 83-85, 152, 260, cat. 22C y p. 86 (i
  • 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. 84-87 y p. 83 (il.)
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 294-295, cat. 15 y p. 85 (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. 166 (il.)
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B. y MAURER, Gudrun (comisarias)
    Goya en Madrid. Cartones para tapices 1775-1794
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    p. 299
Ficha en SAAC

Los Sistemas Aumentativos y Alternativos de Comunicación (SAAC) son formas de expresión distintas al lenguaje hablado, que tienen como objetivo aumentar (aumentativos) y/o compensar (alternativos) las dificultades de comunicación y lenguaje de muchas personas con discapacidad. Más info: Arasaac

Enlaces externos
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