Francisco de Goya

Sermon of Saint Bernardine of Siena (Predicación de San Bernardino de Siena ) (sketch 1)

Sermon of Saint Bernardine of Siena (Predicación de San Bernardino de Siena ) (sketch 1)
Datos Generales
Unknown Collection
62 x 31 cm
Técnica y soporte
Oil on canvas
Reconocimiento de la autoría de Goya
Documented work
Ficha: realización/revisión
12 Jan 2010 / 14 Apr 2021

We know of the existence of two small sketches and another larger one for the altar painting for the Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande in Madrid which Goya dedicated to Saint Bernardine of Siena. It is very likely that this version is the small sketch which Goya mentioned in a letter sent on 22 September 1781 to Count Floridablanca informing him of the subject he had chosen for the work. It is also possible that it is the version sent by Goya to Martín Zapater which he mentions in his correspondence with his friend.

It is followed by another sketch of almost exactly the same dimensions whose execution is rather more polished. Both were found to be in the possession of the Marquis of la Torrecilla in Madrid in 1867, and they later passed to the Count of Villagonzalo, also in Madrid. These works have only been on display to the public twice: in Madrid in 1900, and London in 1920. Their current location is unknown.

Análisis artístico

The surviving sketches allow us to study the evolution of Goya's ideas for the composition. We can see that in this sketch the characteristics of the figures were not yet fully defined, although the compositional idea and the inclusion of the star which rests on the head of the saint had already been established. The essential elements of the composition are represented by means of an intense yet simple chiaroscuro. It is reminiscent of Michel-Ange Houasse's Preaching of Saint Francis Regis (Prado Museum, Madrid), to which Goya had access.

  • Goya 1900
    Ministerio de Instrucción Pública and Bellas Artes
    consultant editors Aureliano de Beruete, Alejandro Ferrant, Marqués de Pidal and Ricardo Velázquez. May 1900
  • Spanish paintings
    The Royal Academy of Arts
  • Goya. El Capricho y la Invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    Museo Nacional del Prado
    from 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-Bareau
  • L'œuvre peint de Goya. 4 vols
    p. 114, cat. 63
  • GASSIER, Pierre y WILSON, Juliet
    Vie et ouvre de Francisco de Goya
    ParísOffice du livre
    pp. 77, 93, cat. 187
  • vol. I, p. 255, cat. 135
  • ANGELIS, Rita de
    L’opera pittorica completa di Goya
    p. 97, cat. 120
  • José Camón Aznar
    Francisco de Goya, 4 vols.
    ZaragozaCaja de Ahorros de Zaragoza, Aragón y Rioja
    vol. I, pp. 165, 166 y p. 283 (il.)
  • WILSON-BAREU, Juliet
    Goya. El capricho y la invención. Cuadros de gabinete, bocetos y miniaturas
    MadridMuseo del Prado
    pp. 134-136, 347, 348, cat. 11 y p. 135
Enlaces externos
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