Francisco de Goya

Pepito Costa y Bonells

Pepito Costa y Bonells
Datos Generales
Ca. 1807 - 1808
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States
105 x 84 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ficha: realización/revisión
13 Apr 2010 / 15 Sep 2022

Pepito Costa y Bonells. Por Goya 18 [...] ("Pepito Costa y Bonells. By Goya, 18[...]", lower left).


This work was the property of José Costa y Bonells. It was later inherited by his niece, Matilda Quesada y Bayo de Fernández de Córdoba, Countess of Gondomar. After that, it was in a number of different collections and galleries: Galería Trotti, Paris; Knoedler, New York and London; Mr and Mrs John W. Simpson, New York; Knoedler, New York; Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh; Mr and Mrs Morton F. Plant, New York; Mrs Morton F. Plant, and then Mrs William Hayward, New York; Mr and Mrs Harrison Williams, New York; Mrs Harrison William, Paris, later Mona, Countess of Bismarck. It was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1961.

Análisis artístico

The father of Pepito Costa (1802-1871) was Rafael Costa de Quintana, Ferdinand VII's doctor. His wife, and Pepito's mother, Amalia Bonells, was also painted by Goya. Pepito's grandfather, Jaime Bonells, was the Duchess of Alba's doctor.

Little is known about Pepito Costa except that he enlisted in the Local Voluntary Infantry in Madrid.

Here Goya has painted him as a child, when he was around five years old.

The boy is shown standing in front of a neutral background, where it is still possible to see the reddish primer that the painter typically applied to his canvases. He is wearing white dungarees underneath a green jacket with gold edging and decoration, in imitation of the uniforms worn by soldiers at the time. On his feet he wears yellow shoes with knots. In his left hand he holds a string that is tied to a toy horse, whilst in his right hand he grips a large military hat, with red and blue feathers. Behind him, a drum and other assorted toys complete the scene.

The boy's face looks straight out at the viewer with a serious and slightly nervous expression - perhaps in a premonition of what was about to occur, since the portrait was painted just before the start of the invasion by Napolean's forces.

The light is falling directly on to the figure of the child, leaving the background in shadow where, although painted in long brushstrokes, the details of the toys are all recognisable, if somewhat blurred.

According to Juan J. Luna, all of the objects in the composition - with the exception of the toy horse - are depicted life size, minimizing the role of the child and in a way reducing his importance as the subject of the work.

  • Loan exhibition of Painting by El Greco and Goya
    M. Knoedler and Co.
    New York
    April 1912
  • Goya. 250 Aniversario
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Juan J. Luna. From March 29th to June 2nd 1996
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: Chefs d’oeuvre de la peinture européenne
    Fondation Pierre Gianadda
    from June 23th to November 12th 2006
  • Grandes maestros de la pintura europea del Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
    consultant editor Katharine Baetjer. From december 1st 2006 to March 4th 2007
  • Goya en tiempos de guerra
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    consultant editor Manuela B. Mena Marqués, from April 14th to July 13th 2008
    L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    p. 173, cat. 460
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    p. 262, cat. 895
  • vol. I, p. 369, cat. 662
  • FAHY, Everett
    Goya’s portrait of Pepito Costa y Bonells
    Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art31, 4
    New York
    pp. 174-175
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. IV, p. 13
  • LUNA, Juan J. (Comisario)
    Goya. 250 Aniversario
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 233 (il.), 410 y 411, cat. 140
  • MENA MARQUÉS, Manuela B.
    Goya en tiempos de guerra
    MadridMuseo Nacional del Prado
    pp. 220 y 221 (il.), cat. 48
Enlaces externos
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